Operations Security guide favored by ISIS recommends using Apple's iMessage for communications

Operations Security guide favored by ISIS recommends using Apple's iMessage for communications
After last week's terror attack in Paris, there was speculation that ISIS used the Sony Playstation console as an encrypted communications tool. Conflicting reports said that the terrorists employed cellphones and would text messages to each other without bothering to encrypt it. Either way, authorities were unable to prevent the attacks from happening. Law-enforcement officials trying to thwart these terrorists, have a tough job. Published reports do say that some attacks have been foiled because the terrorists failed to encrypt their communications.

Recently, a 34-page booklet has been discovered by the Combating Terrorism Center in West Point. The booklet is handed out by ISIS to recruits, although it was originally written by Kuwaiti security firm Cyberkov. Created to help political activists and journalists protect their identity and the identity of their sources, the booklet has been hijacked by ISIS as a way to teach followers how to keep their location and communications private.

The so-called OPSEC booklet (short for Operations Security) recommends certain messaging apps, while telling readers that they should avoid apps like Facebook because communications using the social network can be intercepted. Also considered a no-no is Dropbox. Some of the negative feelings about the cloud storage service is political; former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is on the company's board.

Services favored by the document include iMessage. Apple's messaging service cannot be broken into by government intelligence agencies, or by Apple itself. While VPN's are suggested, along with encrypted chat services, the OPSEC document recommends using Telegram or Sicher. Both are not headquartered in the U.S. The booklet also says that when using Android handsets or the iPhone, the official Twitter app should be used instead of third party apps. There also is a passage about using false Exif data to throw the authorities off your trail.

Other suggestions include the use of super secure encrypted phones like Blackphone. And in a bit of common sense, the document recommends turning off the GPS on any smart device used. Oddly enough, considering that ISIS recruits are suppose to follow the OPSEC booklet, there was no mention of the Sony Playstation that was allegedly used by the ISIS members that attacked Paris last week.

You can check out the document (it is a .pdf file) by clicking on the sourcelink.

source: ISIS-OPSEC via Wired

FEATURED VIDEO

96 Comments

87. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

A testament to Apple's security protocols for sure... But, I wouldn't believe for one second there's not a backdoor to iMessage available to them if they really wanted in.

62. darkkjedii

Posts: 31811; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Alan, any word from Apple on it?

100. engineer-1701d unregistered

No word from Apple just like no word from Apple on all of those iPad pros that are failing when charging you should watch the Apple byte on CNET you talked about it exclusively being a problem multiple times he's had to do a hard reboot that's sad for a device that cost that much money

107. surfboarder

Posts: 168; Member since: Nov 17, 2015

All the Apple fanboys already crying in line at the Apple Store Genius Bar already... LMFWAO!!!!

56. MuhatorMomahad

Posts: 6; Member since: Nov 22, 2015

iMessage is more secure than BBM? Terorist buy iPhone instead of (cheap) android device?

60. FluffyBled unregistered

ISIS officially makes more than 2M$ a day by oil alone, money is not a problem for them! P.S. Not all android devices are cheap!

99. engineer-1701d unregistered

hahaha haha of God that's so almost as funny as your avatar you must be one of the few people that actually watched that movie and wasted your money do you remove have movie theaters in your country just asking I haven't been to Bangladesh or whatever country you're from been too a lot though, I messaged Security probably one of the funniest things I've heard of yet then why haven't the government being able to give them the okay to use Apple devices for government work cuz I'm pretty sure blackberry. It and Samsung got it but Apple does not not much because they're not good enough that's why the terrorists that have no real money can use them because they're so cheap

106. surfboarder

Posts: 168; Member since: Nov 17, 2015

Great post there engineer so true!!

47. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

PA, besides all the stupidity, and immaturity being spewed by a few here. My only gripe is, don't publish the mistake made by terrorists. Allow this animals to continue making mistakes. Therefore making the job of law enforcement a little easier.

111. surfboarder

Posts: 168; Member since: Nov 17, 2015

Where you come from?? Here in USA it's called freedom of speech

34. strudelz100

Posts: 646; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

Anyone afraid of Daesh (ISIS) in the west is an idiot and a coward. It's pretty clear after Russian bombing in Syria DECIMATED the bulk of ISIS' military force that the U.S. clearly had not been engaging in a serious air campaign against ISIS at any point. Basically, the Russians flipped on the light switch on the whole proxy war song-and-dance in the middle east. As soon as the U.S. decides to stop supporting "Anti Assad Rebels" (See Also Plain Clothes ISIS fighters): This phony threat will die.

41. Macready

Posts: 1834; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

The Russian propaganda is strong in this one. It also explains why Putin coninually cries for intelligence from the USA. Oh wait...

97. engineer-1701d unregistered

To tell you the truth if the USA wanted to you could simply stop decisive battles in all of the tourism in that area they just go in there and who literally level everything with all the most powerful weapons on the planet at our disposal there's nothing that can stop us and no one if we wanted to push comes to shove so remember that all of you spit on your crap about America especially when you start screaming all these hateful things and then beg us to help you after your destroyed in a natural disaster or you don't have any food or you need money or medical aid and she don't have any of that stuff yourself

112. djkhalid

Posts: 156; Member since: Jul 01, 2013

seems to me like you and trump would get along well, sucking on trums chode

30. RoboticEngi

Posts: 1251; Member since: Dec 03, 2014

Thank you apple for helping ISIS making Europe a "Nice" place to live......

24. k4ever

Posts: 240; Member since: Oct 08, 2014

So Apple products are recommended to and used by religious fanatics? That's nothing new. I guess the folks that fanatically worship Apple can now bond with the folks that fanatically worship radical Islam. The two groups can combine their extreme hatred for others who don't share their beliefs and live together in their wonderfully jaded world.

35. AlikMalix unregistered

The most stupid comment of the month...

49. Plume-Veil

Posts: 174; Member since: Nov 19, 2015

What a great post. Very well said and utmost true.

19. UncleSamWantsYou

Posts: 36; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

This has nothing to do with Apple, blame religion of peace

21. HugoBarraCyanogenmod

Posts: 1412; Member since: Jul 06, 2014

You sound more like Uncle Trump

29. engineer-1701d unregistered

I can't wait until trump takes office and ends this crap

53. surfboarder

Posts: 168; Member since: Nov 17, 2015

Yuuuup trump has my vote 1000% to clean up obamas 8 year screw ups and mess

59. surfboarder

Posts: 168; Member since: Nov 17, 2015

Trump has a great idea!!!! CLEAN UP AMERICA!!!!! It's been decades overdue!!!!!!

65. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Yeah give America back to its rightful owners the native Americans... oh wait you killed most of them

67. surfboarder

Posts: 168; Member since: Nov 17, 2015

Past is past!! But yes!! But they still own all the casinos and pay less taxes

69. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

They must be thrilled with joy, good trade for losing their land and heritage.

74. surfboarder

Posts: 168; Member since: Nov 17, 2015

actually they are not all dead if you went to this country you will see they have plenty of indian reservation lands, with their casinos

96. engineer-1701d unregistered

We do you know who settled in America right because that's pretty much Spain France Portugal England and a whole bunch of others so technically you could say the rest of world killed them off but they're still here living tax free

104. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

So technically if Trump wants to clean up America and get rid of immigrants, all you people need to go.. which was my point earlier on.

22. RuneMaster

Posts: 75; Member since: May 31, 2015

Then why people from your religion is attacking Middle East in the name of peace?

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless