ISIS is planning attack on US air bases in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain
That’s according to an Israeli cyber-intelligence group who have reported to media sources that they have breached Telegram group on the dark web, which is run by jihadists.
It is rumored that the Islamic state uses Telegram to organize operatives and to disseminate terror attack plans among 500 of its leading activists.
According to the Israeli company who breached Telegram, the Islamic State uses the site to upload potential targets to the group. They reported that in recent months some of the targets have been hit by individuals claiming allegiance to the terror organization.
One of the targets found during the hack was the recently attacked church in Normandy, France where Father Jacques Hamel was murdered by the terrorist group. The Israeli cyber-intelligence group says that the attack on the church was planned months ago according to communication found on Telegram.
This brings us to cyber-intelligence/cyber-security, you can’t have one without the other and quite frankly, the US is falling way below the bar on both fronts.
Both Israel and Russia are reported to be two very powerful forces in terms of cyber-intelligence, cyber defense and cyber-security. China, North Korea, Iran all rank higher than the US.
In fact, Iran is considered a dangerous cyber threat to the US.
ISIS is using the dark web to communicate with its followers. ISIS is not the only extremist group using the dark web for communications either.
Our country would be best served if our Government would better align themselves with countries who are more capable at cyber-intelligence and security and the cyber-security firms in those said countries. We are all better served if we could learn to work together with these other countries and firms to fight the war on terror and to thwart cyber related crimes in general.
Think about it, other countries have surpassed the US when it comes to both cyber-intelligence and cyber-security for years and we don’t seem to be moving at all. These other countries have also set up cyber defense and the programs they have are not for the faint of heart.
Today Business Insider ran a story with a headline stating “The terrible recovery from the Great Recession is due to Congress’ economic incompetence.” I bring that to your attention because it is in fact true, Congress is out of touch with the realities of our world on all fronts, that includes cyber security, intelligence and defense.
The media is partly to blame here as well, I mean if the FBI asks for a change to a law the media makes it out to be the NSA is spying on all of us all the time…
Recently the FBI did ask for a change to the a law that pertains to being able to access someone’s browsing history and other electronic data for certain types of suspected crimes.
Of course the media had a field day with it, they lead everyone to believe the FBI was going to be able to access browsing history from anyone and everyone, all history, see the sites you visit, the pages on those sites and who knows what else…turned out that was not even close to what the FBI could actually access if they had been granted the change and the request was denied, rightfully so.
The reality was, the intel they could have obtained from this change was so rudimentary it amounted to basically the FBI obtaining no useful intel at all. The intel the FBI would have gotten was so rudimentary it would have been a waste of time.
The fact is, between all of us throwing fits over our “rights” which we completely take for granted and confuse with privilege, the media blowing things out of proportion and congress’ incompetence when it comes to cyber-intelligence and security, it is no surprise that we aren’t even close to the bar in terms of cyber defense.
Then we have encryption, I am not against it and I am also not for it when a crime has occurred. I believe that ways around it are needed when you are dealing with an ongoing investigation. I also believe that if our government has ways around it, which I agree at times they should, we need oversight so that, that power it is not abused.
We want our government to protect us and be able to defend us from cyber attacks of all levels and kinds, and we want them to be able to thwart terrorist attacks, yet we are the first to accuse them of taking away our rights and freedoms if they come up some new tool to us to obtain data intel which is part of cyber security.
We refuse to meet in the middle and we refuse to better align ourselves with other countries who are far more superior to our own with cyber defense and capabilities.
A lot can be said for the argument that some things a government does should be kept secret from it’s citizens because sometimes the citizens of that country are simply not ready to know or come to terms with the truth.
Our government needs to be able to learn and utilize tools as much as they can without the media or us citizens assuming they are spying on us. They also need to learn to work with countries that are superior to us in terms of cyber defense long before we can begin to protect this nation from cyber attacks.
We need to give them permission to learn it and use it. They can’t learn it if they aren’t using it, and they are not using it because we prevent them from learning it.
It’s almost as if we truly do enjoy being reactive, we love to walk on the edge and expect someone to catch us when we fall.
We as a country need to come to grips with the reality that cyber crime is on the rise and will continue to rise. It will become more scary and dangerous and once the ability to hack falls into the hands of these extremist groups, it will forever change the playing field.
Until our nation becomes better at cyber defense, security and intelligence, my money is on the other guys finding out about a planned attack long before we do.
Cristal M Clark
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