Wherever and whenever terrorism, „cyber“, and cryptography (i.e. mathematics) meet, then there is a lot of confusion. The Crypto Wars 2.0 are raging as you read this article. Cryptography is usually the perfect scapegoat for a failure in intelligence. What about the facts?
At DeepSec 2015 Julie Gommes talked about results of the studies done by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). The Internet is the method of choice for communication: the number of sites calling for a “jihad” rose from 28 in 1997 to over 5,000 in 2005. The basic use of these sites for the purpose of basic classical communication began in the 2000s. It was replaced by that of social networks, allowing almost instant mass communication. Julie’s talk give you an overview about the tools used according to the study.
Contrary to the opinion of certain politicians the Paris attackers did not use any encryption at all. The Islamic State lacks the knowledge of mathematics to even fake cryptographic software in propaganda messages. Why should criminals have less problems with encrypted communication than governments or businesses? Don’t be fooled by propaganda; proper encryption is a cornerstone of (information) security.