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Cyber Report January-March 2021

The first quarter of 2021 has shown a continuation of efforts by terrorist organizations to utilize cyber space for a variety of purposes. As such , January saw an escalation in the far right extremism movement with the inauguration of United States President Joe Biden. Plans that had been previously discussed on forums on the dark web culminated in tangible, physical actions that made a real impact.

Terrorist organizations continue to use the Internet for a wide range of functions, including a continued process of professionalization, and an emphasis on using various social networks as a platform for distributing messages and guidance to various sites.

Additionally, terrorist fundraising through cryptocurrency has become more difficult to trace as we have observed more precautions being taken by the terrorist groups in this regard.

Jihadi organizations continue to use cyberspace to recruit operatives and raise funds, though they have become more cautious in their use of cryptocurrency for fundraising. Since the blockchain is transparent, many terror groups have become more careful about sharing their Bitcoin addresses. They now publicize private contact information and have even begun to shift to cryptocurrencies that are harder to trace, such as Monero.

In the space of global response to cyber threats we see activity on the part of governments attempting to quell cyberattacks and remain up to date in their cybersecurity departments by implementing new regulations, policies, and even sanctions, and by identifying vulnerabilities and brainstorming solutions following a string of attacks such as the SolarWinds attack.