In an effort to help obscure its communications from the many worldwide intelligence agencies trying to hunt them down, members of terrorist group Daesh now have their own encrypted chat application. This follows members of the organisations being kicked off of the likes of WhatsApp, Telegram and other platforms.
Governments and intelligence agencies of various countries, including the U.S. and U.K. have warned loud and often that groups like Daesh use encrypted chat services to communicate. They claim that that is the reason that they need to have backdoors to commercial messaging applications.
However that won't help much when it comes to the Daesh built “Alrawi,” messenger service. Although its security isn't as high as more commercial ventures, as Fortune points out, that doesn't matter as much when there is no central company to try and requisition meta data or message contents from.
App created by IS-affil Amaq Agency “news” org to streamline access to IS propaganda, Screenshots courtesy @CtrlSec pic.twitter.com/kKc0IZo2wi
— Michael S. Smith II (@MichaelSSmithII) December 7, 2015
The app, discovered by digital counter terrorism group Ghost Security, purportedly offers one-to-one messaging, a scrolling news feed and video sharing capabilities; just about everything you would expect from a contemporary social application. Except with a very-specific target audience.
One avenue of attack against the app could be that because it is not an official installation, putting better protections against unauthorised applications could help. However jailbreaking phones is something that has been done for years and in some instances has some very legitimate uses. Blocking that in any meaningful way could anger consumers and wouldn't do anything to prevent the already open-platform smartphones already out there.
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KitGuru Says: How do you guys think governments and intelligence agencies should combat groups like Daesh communicating through encrypted channels?