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Revealed: ISIS guide tells militants not to use Facebook or WhatsApp

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cybersecurity
ISIS aims for watertight communications

With intelligence services working hand over fist to track down ISIS militants, it’s no surprise the organisation is keen to shut out spies.

A comprehensive guide that details how Jihadis can avoid being compromised through technology has been revealed.

The 34-page handbook, which reviews a number of popular apps and services like Facebook and Twitter, was first revealed by independent research group Combating Terrorism Center, based at the US Military Academy at West Point, and subsequently published to Scribd by Yahoo.

The guide, authored by “Khaled from Gaza”, warns against the use of Facebook, describing the platform as having “a bad reputation in the protection of privacy”.

It’s also recommended that militants avoid using OperaMini, which “is not considered safe to use in Saudi Arabia”, as well as WhatsApp, Line, and Instagram.

Another blacklisted service is DropBox, included as a result of former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice joining the company’s Board of Directors in April 2014.

‘Khaled’ does, however, recommend using Silent Circle’s privacy-focused Blackphone, because it “contains applications to maintain the security of your communications”.

Other approved services include the Tor browser, the Onion browser for iPhone, and Apple’s FaceTime video calling, described as “safe and encrypted”.

The guide continues: “[Apple] can not provide the American justice [with] the calls or the content of the talks, because they do not have authority.”

Related: TR talks Blackphone with Silent Circle

It’s not just intelligence agencies that ISIS has to fear on the technology front however. Hacking collective Anonymous recently stepped up its “war” against the terrorist group.

The increased efforts are a result of the recent Paris attacks, which left over 100 people dead last weekend.

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