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ICT Cyber-Desk Review: Report #27

Executive Summary

Cyber Report no. 27 by the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) reviewed the prominent uses made of cyberspace by terrorist organizations and their supporters in April, May and June 2018. This is not an exhaustive list but rather an identification of the main trends as they arose from the field, and their analysis is divided into four areas.

  1. In the operational domain, jihadist organizations continued to use cyberspace for a variety of needs, the most prominent among them being propaganda for the purposes of strengthening the media system, recruiting fighters, encouraging “lone wolf” terrorist attacks and fundraising campaigns. 
  2. In the defensive domain, there was no discernible significant innovation in the defensive use of cyberspace by terrorists. The trend of distributing content on issues of security and encryption, privacy and anonymity, warnings against phishing and the safe use of mobile devices continued.
  3. In the offensive domain, terrorist organizations continued their efforts to improve their offensive capabilities but those capabilities are still undeveloped and remain at a low level, especially with regard to hacking into social media accounts or Web site defacement.
  4. In the arena of international counter measures against cyber threats, a trend was identified in which subcontractors are used disrupt the communication activities of critical infrastructure. Security experts recommended setting a high standard throughout the critical infrastructure supply chain. Law enforcement operational activities continued to curb criminal activity on the Internet, and leading technology companies promoted cooperation to deal with terrorism-inciting content on the Internet.

 This article is part of the RED-Alert project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon                                 2020 research and innovation Programme under grant agreement No 740688.

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