Middle East researchers have reportedly discovered a new Islamic State group "help desk" aimed at assisting ISIS members in encrypting their messages to escape authorities' notice. The Hill reported Wednesday on the existence of the Electronic Horizon Foundation, which was started last month to spread "security and technical awareness among the monotheists."
The foundation reportedly uses a secret message board; Twitter; and Telegram, an encrypted messaging service, to distribute information to followers of the terrorist group designed to help them avoid being tracked and discovered by international intelligence efforts. But the foundation's advice will likely end up being more defensive than offensive, according to the Hill's first look at a report on the issue from the Middle East Media Research Institute.
“Jihadis have long sought technical information, which has been confined in the past to various password-protected jihadi forums,” the Hill reported the document read, adding that now "the freedom and ease by which they can now obtain that information is alarming."
The Daily Dot reported on the foundation last week as well, writing that it had about 2,200 followers on both its Twitter and Telegram accounts.
They weren't the first stories about an ISIS "help desk" of sorts. Last year, CNN Money published an article about a decentralized technical support team for the militants that would walk people through hiding their phone numbers, surfing the web, using Skype and sidestepping facial recognition software.
"Clearly this enables them to communicate and engage in operations beyond what used to happen, and in a much more expeditious manner," Aaron F. Brantly, an expert with West Point's Combating Terrorism Center, told NBC News at the time. "They are now operating at the speed of cyberspace rather than the speed of person-to-person communications."
Many of these reports mentioned ISIS members' reliance on the Telegram service. But the Telegraph noted that the Telegram service launched a campaign against ISIS use after the November terror attacks in Paris. Telegram CEO Pavel Durov recently tweeted that up to 10 ISIS-related accounts were being banned every day.