Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Anonymous helps Internet companies infiltrate ISIS misuse


NBC News has republished a major Reuters story this morning (and put it on Facebook’s news feed) about Anonymous and its own attempt to snarl ISIS with “ethical hacking”, rather like the character “Q” in recent James Bond movies.  The story is here.  The story also links to another account of new cybersecurity in Britain.

The group says it has helped close down ISIS-related Twitter accounts (could it get some of this wrong and close down a legitimate user?) and has posed as possible recruits to gain access to Dark Web sites and encrypted messaging apps, which are becoming controversial.

As noted yesterday, it appears that terrorists use off-the-shelf messaging apps (like Telegram) and “go dark” before an operation starts.  There is controversy over whether a mandated back-door (for NSA or other law enforcement access) would open ordinary users to more crime, or to government intrusion not related to terror (for example, taxes).  A major issue seems to be that Apple has placed the encryption tools on the phones themselves but does not keep copies of them for subpoenas.

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