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ICT Cyber-Desk Review: Report #11

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This report covers the period of October – December 2014 and covers two main subjects: cyber-terrorism (offensive, defensive, and the media, and the main topics of jihadist discourse) and cyber-crime, whenever and wherever it is linked to jihad (funding, methods of attack).

The following are among the issues covered in this report:

  • On October 16, a fundraising campaign was launched on social networks under the heading, “Help the Mujahideen of Gaza”.
  • Fursan al-Nashr, a virtual workshop involved in publicity for the Islamic State, launched a series of publications in October 2014 titled, “Security of the Supporter” (Amn al-Munasir), explaining how to surf on an Android in a secure and anonymous way using TOR software.
  • A visitor to the Shumukh al-Islam jihadist Web forum recommended using Viber and WhatsApp as a platform to publish news items regarding jihadist organizations in Egypt, including distributing publications concerning terrorist attacks and ideology.
  • One of the Islamic State’s main publicity channels focuses on intensive activity on social networks through the distribution of official messages, informational videos, audio clips and statements, and concentrates efforts on influencing public opinion by disrupting group discourse or online initiatives on social networks that try to criticize the organization.
  • The value of the bitcoin virtual currency dropped drastically in 2014, peaking at $1,000 and falling to $300 at the end of the year. Nevertheless, between 40,000-100,000 transactions were made each day in 2014, indicating an increase in bitcoin use.
  • A report was published that included an in-depth analysis of the risks of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems in light of the increased number of warnings and publications from security sources in 2014 concerning various malware that damaged infrastructure facilities around the world.

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