There’s an app for that! Daesh develops secure messaging app

Published January 15th, 2016 - 09:37 GMT

The Daesh militant group claims to have built its own secure messaging application, making their conversations more difficult to monitor, a hacking group says.

According to a counterterrorism network called the Ghost Security Group, moving on from messaging apps like Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram, and Twitter, Daesh has now built an Android-based, encrypted-messaging app called Alrawi.apk, or just the Alrawi app, that circumvents conventional messaging apps regarded easier for the FBI to monitor.

“The application’s primary purpose is for propaganda distribution. Using the app you are able to follow the most recent news and video clips.” Ghost Security representatives told Defense One on Wednesday.

The representatives added that these messaging features are not quite as secure or sophisticated as those of Telegram or WhatsApp, but they share the distinct advantage of being independent of any third-party company or organization that might help anti-Daesh governments or law enforcement agencies.

The move comes at a time when the group is now believed to be stepping up militant attacks in many parts of the world. The group was behind the bomb attack on the Indonesian capital of Jakarta on Jan. 14, with at least seven people dead and there are concerns that Daesh's influence is spreading in the Philippines.

US President Barack Obama and presidential contenders, like Hillary Clinton, have in recent weeks urged tech leaders to voluntarily join the fight against Daesh.

Obama said in a recent speech that he planned to "urge high-tech and law enforcement leaders to make it harder for terrorists to use technology to escape from justice."

Back in December, the US Congress introduced legislation requiring social media companies to report online to law enforcement any "terrorist activity" they detect, such as planning, recruiting or distribution of terrorist material.


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