View Full Version : ISIS & media (catch all)

01-12-2015, 09:21 PM
The Twitter account for U.S. Central Command was apparently hacked on Monday, with pro-ISIS messages plastering the account's profile.

The first message was posted at 12:29 p.m. ET, with the words "AMERICAN SOLDIERS, WE ARE COMING, WATCH YOUR BACK. ISIS." and the hashtag "#CyberCaliphate."


04-09-2015, 09:45 PM
The large and influential French TV network TV5Monde was taken off the air and its online presence was hijacked by a group calling itself the Cyber Caliphate. Hours after the attack began, the network was still unable to produce live programming.

The attack by what are being called cyber jihadists began at 10 p.m. in Paris on Wednesday, when screens that would normally show TV5Monde went blank, with normal programming replaced by a message: "Je suIS IS."


After January terrorist attacks in France by gunmen claiming links to IS and al Qaida in Yemen, officials said hackers had targeted some 19,000 French websites. William Reymond, editor of the French investigative website Breaking3zero, which traced the January hackings, said the latest attack can be directly linked to two IS-linked militants - one in Algeria who built the malicious software and another in Iraq who helped speed up the attack.

Within half an hour, he said, the malware had burrowed in and exploited a weakness to enter the network's computer system and take over its central transmission server, which translates an analogue signal into a digital one before it is beamed to a satellite. He said TV5 Monde will have a hard time regaining full control.

"They have to erase everything. There were at least three other encrypted viruses," he said.

Bill Moore
04-09-2015, 11:59 PM
It was only a matter of time until something of this scale happened, and I suspect it will only get worse. It will also only be a matter of time until they employ advanced conventional weapons and unconventional weapons in the West.

04-10-2015, 11:34 AM
Once this "genie is out of the bottle" then this tactic can be used. Nor should we overlook the widely reported suspicion that the nation-state - a broad label - have used it too, Stuxnet comes to mind.

Bill Moore
04-10-2015, 11:56 AM
and the attack on Sony allegedly by North Korea.

A few more examples in this article:


At security company Trend Micro Inc. , which compiled the report for the OAS, Chief Cybersecurity Officer Tom Kellermann said additional destructive or physical attacks came from political activists and organized crime groups.

“We are facing a clear and present danger where we have non-state actors willing to destroy things,” he said. “This is going to be the year we suffer a catastrophe in the hemisphere, and when you will see kinetic response to a threat actor.”

Those thinking about cyber defense are considering taking the offensive, since defensive tactics and technology have proved inadequate. The following article includes the rare occurrence of a British citizen complementing the U.S. :-).


The fact of the matter simply put are, we are seeing far too many successful attacks take place against organisations who are actually spending small fortunes on their security defences and capabilities, which at the same time are still leaving them insecure post the granting of a valued ‘tick’, which leave the assessed organisation still exposed to the nightmare of their unknown unknowns – enter Offensive Security.

When we refer to the subject of Offensive Security, we look beyond what is seen as red-team testing, and embrace an activity which encompasses the dark-arts of our adversaries, which goes well before the world of penetration testing, and over focuses on what we already know, or think we need – to subject it to a programme of security testing. In fact, here when representing a client, I asked the assigned penetration tester what they felt the client should include in the testing schedules, and they responded: “Just tell us the IP range, and we will run this testing based on that input.”

04-15-2015, 12:09 PM
Yoo hoo.

06-08-2015, 02:18 AM
Two Iraqis invented a fake town, named for a butter churn, then claimed ISIS was defeated there by Shia militias. Fans of both fell for the gag.


06-12-2015, 07:03 PM
The latest hackathon competition -- the fourth in the past five months -- is being held alongside a two-day countering violent extremism conference in Australia's biggest city, attended by high-level officials and experts and opened by Prime Minister Tony Abbott.


Warriors of the Future? (http://www.wingsdailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/keyboard-nerd.jpg)

SWJ Blog
09-26-2015, 10:22 AM
Is IS Beginning to Lose the Social Media War? (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/is-is-beginning-to-lose-the-social-media-war)

Entry Excerpt:

Read the full post (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/is-is-beginning-to-lose-the-social-media-war) and make any comments at the SWJ Blog (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog).
This forum is a feed only and is closed to user comments.

10-06-2015, 12:21 PM
A fascinating piece of research by the Quilliam Foundation, which dissects a month's output:
In just 30 days, IS's official propagandists created and disseminated 1,146 separate units of propaganda....All of it was uniformly presented and incredibly well-executed, down to the finest details.... it was the idea of utopia that was being stressed - social justice, economy, religious “purity” and the constant expansion of the “caliphate”.

The BBC has a stunning report by the author, Charlie Winter, with photos, graphics and more:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-88492697-b674-4c69-8426-3edd17b7daed

The Quilliam Foundation's press release and link to a 2.6Mb report:http://www.quilliamfoundation.org/press/documenting-the-virtual-caliphate/

10-06-2015, 07:50 PM
By an odd coincidence a quite different "think tank" has published a report with a much wider remit today too; the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. It opens with:
New research from the Centre on Religion & Geopolitics finds a common ideology communicated through the propaganda of three leading jihadi groups. Read our summary of the report's key findings and how these can inform our response.

It gets a ringing endorsement from Professor Bruce Hoffman:
..a needed and incisive analysis of one of the core issues behind the current jihadi threat, the manipulation and exploitation of scripture to provide a religious justification for their violence....this is the single best work I have read on the ideological foundations and theoretical underpinnings of the ongoing wave of jihadi violence. Accordingly, it makes a valuable contribution both to the literature on terrorism and radicalisation and to the measures and efforts needed to most effectively counter the appeal of the jihadi message.

Tony Blair himself was speaking in NYC today:http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/oct/06/tony-blair-islamic-extremists-ideology-supported-by-muslims?

10-22-2015, 04:00 PM
I missed this UK C4 TV interview, so thanks to a "lurker":
Shukee Begum, a mother of 5 who took her children to Syria to meet her husband, who was fighting with Isis militants, reveals how she became trapped in Isis territory after he refused to leave and was kidnapped by smugglers.The C4 report (11 mins) which includes an interview with her family:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEu7SKBcXVs
Link to a shorter YouTube clip (7 mins):https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZpTmAIH7XM&feature=youtu.be&app=desktop


10-22-2015, 04:40 PM
Thanks to a "lurker" a German TV documentary (30 mins), which covers Germany, Spain, Israel and more. From the website:
The terrorist organization Islamic State, IS for short, is carrying out an aggressive internet campaign that's aimed at spreading fear in Western countries. Videos of IS atrocities are posted almost immediately after they happen. The videos often appear on social-media sites linked to IS. Islamic State also uses the internet to recruit new members. Western security experts are concerned about IS's digital capabilities, and fear that they may try to hack into key utilities or government agencies.

12-04-2015, 06:40 PM
I have merged six threads here and changed the title.

This thread should be read in parallel with the main Beyond the frontline watching ISIS thread:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=21084

12-04-2015, 06:43 PM
From Kings College ICSR a short commentary that ends with:
Put together, there are signs that IS’s much vaunted media machine has declined over the past half year. It remains very active, of course, but there seems to have been a peak between mid-spring and mid-summer this year. This, I believe, could be indicative of other structural issues IS could be having on the ground. It also suggests that military victories rather than counter messaging has a stronger effect on the media capabilities of jihadi groups.

Bill Moore
12-13-2015, 02:53 PM
Terror on Twitter, by P.W. Singer and Emerson Brooking (Popular Science)
How ISIS is taking war to social media-and social media is fighting back


The core of ISIS is seasoned veterans of the Iraqi insurgency that followed the 2003 U.S. invasion. Well versed in the power of the media, they have been joined by a new generation of Millennial recruits. The average age of foreign fighters who traveled to join ISIS is 24, meaning tools like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are what they've grown up with. In the context of global jihad, this is a dangerous combination.

The article then goes on to illustrate how ISIS is using social media (and most understand, it isn't limited to radicalization). After this the article explains how governments and non-government organizations like Anonymous are using social media to fight ISIS, with short but sufficient descriptions of doxxing, DDoS, sabotage, content alternating, twitter account hunting, etc.

Together, this loose coalition seeks to rob ISIS of one of its most powerful weapons: kicking it out of the very social-media ecosystem that helped give it life.

I have little faith that mass efforts of counter radicalization will every accomplish anything, and in many cases will backfire. However, denying, or even disrupting, ISIS's use of social media should have a telling effective when combined with effective law enforcement, intelligence, and military operations.

12-18-2015, 01:54 PM

A Pennsylvania 19-year-old pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group, used Twitter to spread its propaganda and had a backpack with ammunition that suggests he might have been plotting an attack, federal authorities said Thursday.

Jalil Ibn Ameer Aziz, of Harrisburg, was arrested Thursday and charged with two counts of attempting to provide material support to terrorists. He had an initial court appearance and will be held pending a detention and preliminary hearing next week.

Court documents said a "go bag" or "tactical-style backpack" found in Aziz's closet during a Nov. 27 search contained a high-capacity magazine loaded with ammunition, a modified kitchen knife, a thumb drive, a tin filled with medicine and a full face mask similar to those worn by Islamic State militants. Aziz may have been "preparing to conduct or assist others in conducting an attack in the United States," according to a criminal complaint.

01-28-2016, 08:53 PM
Despite widespread media reports to the contrary, an app created for Islamic State militants to send private encrypted messages does not exist, a Daily Dot investigation found.

On Jan. 12, Defense One reported that the Islamic State allegedly built a new Android app called Alrawi for exchanging encrypted messages, based on claims from self-proclaimed online counterterrorism outfit Ghost Security Group (GSG). The claim was quickly reprinted by Newsweek, Fortune, TechCrunch, and the Times of India—the largest English-language newspaper in the world—among many others.


02-19-2016, 09:10 PM
From The Atlantic and the sub-title is:
And why stopping it requires that governments get out of the way

03-02-2016, 08:30 PM
From Australia's Lowy Institute a podcast and article by a journalist. Podcast:http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/2016/02/29/How-Islamic-State-has-duped-Western-Media.aspx? (http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/2016/02/29/How-Islamic-State-has-duped-Western-Media.aspx?utm_source=Lowy+Interpreter&utm_campaign=3a4e972c28-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_WEEKLY&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_eed7d14b56-3a4e972c28-59375461)


03-28-2016, 07:29 PM
An updated short article by Charlie Winter, ex-Quilliam Foundation, on the Lawfare blog:
Editor's Note: The Islamic State produces potent propaganda, inspiring tens of thousands of Muslims to travel to Syria to fight and encouraging other Muslims to launch attacks in their home countries. The propagandists also try to brainwash those unfortunate enough to be under the group’s thumb. Charlie Winter of Georgia State University explores the Islamic State’s internal propaganda mechanisms, offering an in-depth description of its media machine and the dangerous messages it churns out.

04-02-2016, 06:49 PM
Actually the full title of the article, on Strife - a Kings War Studies blog - is 'Turning technology from an asset into a liability: using big data to fight ISIS' and this post will be copied to the ISIS & Media thread later.

The author's arguments are weakened IMHO by sentences like this:
However, sketching using big data analytics can define some widely-valid characteristics. For instance, ISIS recruits tend to be predominantly young and male (http://money.cnn.com/2015/12/15/news/economy/isis-recruit-characteristics/) and the ones originating in the EU and the US tend to come from a middle class background, with a high level of education.Really? We need 'big data' to tell us that?

So IARPA facial recognition programme exists, but human can be an alternative as today's story shows, with the Met Police in London:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/02/designer-thief-with-a-taste-for-louis-vuitton-and-gucci-caught-b/

There are those, also @ Kings, who have found terrorist use of the Dark Web is not that great:http://www.scmagazineuk.com/report-terrorists-hardly-use-the-dark-web/article/485969/

04-02-2016, 07:12 PM
J.M. Berger returns to the fray:
The Islamic State has found its latest social media flavor of the month, the encrypted and security-conscious messaging service known as Telegram.

(Then in a twist) So why do ISIS supporters keep returning to Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, despite the significant pressure from fast and furious suspensions?....The answer is simple. That’s where the audience is. While ISIS can and will seek out alternative platforms for its propaganda and recruitment efforts, it can’t make its targets come along for the ride.

SWJ Blog
04-25-2016, 01:11 AM
U.S. Cyberwar Aims to Cripple ISIS Operations and Recruiting (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/us-cyberwar-aims-to-cripple-isis-operations-and-recruiting)

Entry Excerpt:

Read the full post (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/us-cyberwar-aims-to-cripple-isis-operations-and-recruiting) and make any comments at the SWJ Blog (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog).
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06-07-2016, 03:04 PM
Pornspamming ISIS, 9/10. https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4018/4707656816_0a5ec48321.jpg


The only reason I'm not giving 10/10 is that the images appear to be female, and as we all well know ISIS are equally pederasts and beastialitists as they are garden-variety rapists.

SWJ Blog
10-11-2016, 07:39 AM
ISIS Media Output Drops as Military Pressure Rises, Report Says (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/isis-media-output-drops-as-military-pressure-rises-report-says)

Entry Excerpt:

Read the full post (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/isis-media-output-drops-as-military-pressure-rises-report-says) and make any comments at the SWJ Blog (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog).
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SWJ Blog
11-24-2016, 10:28 PM
One by One, ISIS Social Media Experts Are Killed as Result of FBI Program (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/one-by-one-isis-social-media-experts-are-killed-as-result-of-fbi-program)

Entry Excerpt:

Read the full post (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/one-by-one-isis-social-media-experts-are-killed-as-result-of-fbi-program) and make any comments at the SWJ Blog (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog).
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SWJ Blog
12-23-2016, 08:32 PM
Berlin Attack Echoes ISIS Propaganda Shift (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/berlin-attack-echoes-isis-propaganda-shift)

Entry Excerpt:

Read the full post (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/berlin-attack-echoes-isis-propaganda-shift) and make any comments at the SWJ Blog (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog).
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SWJ Blog
01-13-2017, 10:30 PM
Twitter Must Do More to Block ISIS (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/twitter-must-do-more-to-block-isis)

Entry Excerpt:

Read the full post (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/twitter-must-do-more-to-block-isis) and make any comments at the SWJ Blog (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog).
This forum is a feed only and is closed to user comments.

03-24-2017, 08:33 AM
An update from Charlie Winter, via ICSR:http://us14.campaign-archive1.com/?u=cba7cacd66ab42e2f55920ddc&id=1113f3fa7c&e=dd94a5c57b

06-13-2017, 11:26 AM
Israeli government hackers broke into the computer networks of ISIS bomb makers months ago and uncovered the terror group's plans to build laptop bombs that could get through airport X-ray machines, according to a new report in The New York Times.
The Times report, authored by David Sanger and Eric Schmitt and sourced to two American officials, said that the intelligence gleaned from the electronic heist was "so exquisite" that it helped US spies get an understanding of how such devices would be detonated. http://www.businessinsider.com/hackers-got-into-isis-networks-found-they-were-building-laptop-bombs-2017-6

11-09-2017, 08:41 PM
Charlie Winter, back @ ICSR has an updated analysis of ISIS media operations via the BBC:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-41845285

11-14-2017, 02:55 AM
Muslim activists hack Isis mailing list hours after terrorists claimed it was unhackable

Like its physical idea of an 'Islamic State', analysts say the online caliphate is starting to crumble


01-09-2018, 06:30 PM
Charlie Winter, ex-ICSR, has written this article and it is on-line free for sixty days.