The Islamic State ISIS has released a training guide for its members on how to tweet safely without giving the location of the user to intelligence agencies including such as NSA.
An ISIS manual is widely shared among the Islamic State members to remove metadata from the tweets they are tweeting and stop writing names, locations and photographs to trick NSA and other intelligence agencies. key point on various issues like how to disable the location disclosing options on their mobile devices.
The released guide will train the members of ISIS on how to tweet while preventing their location from getting intercept by NSA or any other Intelligence agencies. From this manual release, ISIS hopes to create hurdles for NSA in its snooping job over the group’s and to safeguard its fighters.
The Financial Times report found that the safety guidelines have been released by ISIS after the security agencies NSA of United States and GCHQ of United Kingdom have been able to gain in depth information of ISIS militants.
ISIS members, who are actively using Twitter for spreading its views were being tracked by western intelligence agencies NSA and GCHQ through the Tweet metadata, which includes the date, time and post location.
Recently more than 300 ISIS militants were killed due to the targeted US-Coalition led air attacks at a Syrian border named Kobane. However the militants have understood the high risks attached with Twitter posts and have released the Arabic language manual guide among ISIS fighters, which gives the detailed information about the procedure of removing metadata.
Arabic Manual States that :
A number of security blinds have appeared that have benefited the enemy and have helped expose the identities of some brothers or identify some sites used by the mujahideen with ease.”
Twitter has played a pivotal role in spreading the massage of Islamic State across the globe but recent happenings suggest that it has also become the group’s most significant shortcoming.
The “gaps” of various types have been explained in the manual and also how certain data that get leaked via extremist militants may help intelligence agencies in turning their “hair gray.”
We know this issue is not only tied to pictures, but to PDF files, word files and video files.
These guides also ask the ISIS Members to avoid posing identifiable images of individuals. Even an ISIS supporter tweeted on the lessons learned from the ISIS training manual:
“Your abstention from posting details and your brothers’ movements during [the] Hit camp blessed battle two days ago was the reason God granted you victory.”
What is Metadata?
Darien Kindlund, director of threat research at FireEye ( US cyber-security company ) , said Metadata is the latent information in digital files which contain information about the identity of the author, when the content was created/modified, and potentially reveal location information around where the content was authored. This can be extremely valuable to intelligence agencies.
The wireless network and Wi-Fi boosters are used for expanding the Internet coverage in the city has become an another area of concern to the ISIS – media reports out of Raqqa a stronghold outfit in syria. The reason is that the intelligence agencies like NSA & GCHQ can easily tap into those wireless signals and locate the location.
Another threat to ISIS is the NSA and GCHQ controlled WhatsApp that’s the reason Recently, the ISIS has released a statement asking its members from using the WhatsApp, as it has visible security loops, which can be easily manipulated by NSA and GCHQ.
Whatsapp has been a popular messaging app that has been widely used by ISIS even in its combat operations. The group reportedly also has used WhatsApp for its recruitment drive in US and several European countries.
Checking money flow of ISIS Members :
An Canadian organization has introduced an another way of intercepting the location of ISIS members that is Following the flow of funds. Canada’s Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre announced that the they are tracking and analyzing the money flows of ISIS members and sending the information to Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS).