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Hacking as the Next Arena of Battle in the Eyes of an Islamic State Supporter

In early March of the Islamic year, a Web surfer named Abu Hafsah published correspondence in English on a Telegram account identified with supporters of the Islamic State regarding the importance of increasing hacking activities for the Islamic Caliphate. According to him, weapons today are not limited to guns and tanks, but also include cyber warfare known as hacking. He called attention to China’s efforts to recruit hackers to breach American servers in order to steal information from them about advanced technology and master plans for modern weapons. According to him, the Chinese method is meant to serve as a model for Muslims and hacking software:

 “The Muslims will eventually need this sophisticated hacking capability so that we can have a technological head-start when we need to develop weapons to jam, track and perhaps even destroy drones and jet fighters. Especially jammers, radars, electronic warfare and other sophisticated technologies”.

Hafsah stressed that hacking must be an integral part of the Caliphate’s war arsenal. According to him, it is worthwhile for Muslims to begin learning the field of hacking and developing capabilities in this area in order to be able to help the Caliphate at a time when all Muslims will be instructed to create hacking software in order to use them to attack their enemies.

Hafsah’s call garnered much interest on the topic and received support from members of the Telegram account. At the same time, visitors addressed the question of whether the hacking groups operating in the name of the Islamic Caliphate should be considered official groups, and if one can tell if the hackers are infidels or believers. One visitor responded that it is better not to view them as an organizational part of the Caliphate. According to him, to this day the Islamic Caliphate has never released any official publication concerning the existence of a hacker unit operating in its ranks, and it is best to rely solely on the publications of its media institutions and its official publications, such as Al-Hayat media institution, Rumiyeh magazine, Al-Nabaperiodical and others. Nevertheless, there is nothing wrong with listening and monitoring the activity of the hacking groups that ascribe themselves to the Islamic Caliphate but they should not be relied on until they receive official approval from the Islamic Caliphate.[1]

[1] The research was conducted using a unique technology for collecting and analyzing information from DARKNET developed by Athena of the Mer Group in collaboration with SIXGILL.