al Qaeda, Islamic State Encrypt Their Messages In Goods Offered On Ebay And Reddit, As Well As On Porn,Sites, To Communicate With Each Other, And Plan Future Attacks — New Book “Gideon’s Spies,’ Claims
Belinda Robinson, writing on the March 1, 2015 website, TheDailyMailOnline, says that “terrorists have developed several new techniques to communicate with each other online, by leaving coded messages on websites such as Ebay and Reddit, according to sections in a new book: “Gideon’s Spies: The Secret History Of The Mossad.”
Ms. Robinson writes that :”the shocking discovery (I find it hard to believe these guys were shocked) made by intelligence officers and code breakers in Israel, Britain, and the United States. These seemingly innocuous chats are more often, much more, as code-breakers found that al Qaeda was now using a technique to encrypt its messages in goods offered for sale on Ebay.” According to the new book, “Gideon’s Spies,” Israeli intelligence officers who spent time tracking the Internet message board Reddit found more than once, that a terrorist used hexadecimal characters and prime numbers as code. After the messages were decoded, they sometimes indicated an attack was being planned; or, even about to happen,” according to excerpts printed in The New York Post. “Terrorists are even hiding messages in X-rated pornographic pictures, which conceal documents and orders for the next target,’ one intelligence source told author Gordon Thomas.
“In the wake of the Charlie Hedbo attack in Paris,” and no doubt the Edward Snowden leaks, “both al Qaeda, and the Islamic State have been concealing messages to their followers.’ I could be wrong; but, I just don’t think this is new news, or a surprise to the Intelligence Community; but, I digress. “Both Mossad, the Israeli spy agency, and MI6 in London, confirm there has been an increase in this type of traffic online, according to the book. Ms. Robinson adds that “a number of the most skilled cryptologists in the Mossad Cyber Command Unit, have mastered steganography — how to conceal secret information within a digital file; and, also how to explore and exploit or mine the Dark Web. The Dark Web contains billions of Web pages; and, is estimated to be 5,000 times larger than any other on the Internet.”
I don’t think any intelligence analyst worth his or her salt, will find this information all that surprising. And, in the aftermath of the Edward Snowden leaks, it was widely reported that al Qaeda and the Islamic State changed and enhanced their encryption software; and, changed the way they communicated — techniques, tactics, and procedures — in order to evade U.S., and Western intelligence surveillance. Now that it has been disclosed that we know that al Qaeda, the Islamic State and others are using Ebay and Reddit, etc. to hide messages and communicate — we can expect a lot of this intelligence to mostly dry up, as these guys move elsewhere on the Web to evade Western intelligence surveillance. V/R, RCP