Islamic State’s war propaganda for women attracts social media users

Social media becomes a window to a war zone that several women in South Florida say they follow even though they oppose terrorism
Author: Andrea Torres, Local10.com Reporter, atorres@local10.com
Published On: Sep 17 2014 07:30:22 PM EDT   Updated On: Sep 18 2014 11:38:41 AM EDT

August 21st Facebook post defined as a “selfie” by Diary of A Muhajirah user.

MIAMI – A user’s recent social media posts read like a movie: A woman trained as a doctor travels to a war zone. She falls in love and gets pregnant. She suffers the inevitable reality of war in Syria.The social media user posts on Twitter and Facebook links to a Tumbler blog titled “Diary Of A Traveler”. The user has followers from all over the world — including South Florida. Maria Elena Carrillo, 35, a Venezuelan of Lebanese descent, said she has been following the blog since March.

“Her identity is a mystery. She said her legal name was Shams and that she was 26 and was from Malaysia, but no one knows if that’s true,” Carrillo said. “Her English is perfect. It could all be just clever propaganda for all we know. And there could be more than one person posting.” Continue reading

The Iranian Cyber Offensive during Operation Protective Edge

INSS Insight No. 598, August 26, 2014
Gabi Siboni , Sami Kronenfeld
 Although the IDF’s abilities to handle the rocket and attack tunnel threats have garnered most of the attention during the latest campaign in the Gaza Strip, it is now clear that Israel was also forced to confront cyber challenges during Operation Protective Edge. A senior officer in the C4I Corps noted that in the course of the campaign Iranian elements launched a widespread cyber offensive against Israeli targets, including attempts to damage security and financial networks. While these attempts were neutralized relatively easily and quickly by Israeli cyber defenses, it seems that Iran is investing heavily in the development of effective offensive capabilities against infrastructure systems, and might present a serious challenge to Israeli defenses within the foreseeable future. In 2013, a series of attacks on the websites of major US banks and financial institutions was attributed to Iran. An information security expert described these attacks, which included sophisticated techniques and demonstrated an ability to act in significant scope against high quality targets, as unprecedented in degree and effectiveness.

Image Bank/Getty Images

Attacks on a nation’s financial infrastructures have serious repercussions, liable to result in heavy financial damage as they disrupt routine financial activity of commercial enterprises and households alike. However, the focus of the cyber offensive during Operation Protective Edge was the civilian internet. Iranian elements participated in what the C4I officer described as an attack unprecedented in its proportions and the quality of its targets. The attack targeted IDF websites such as the Home Front Command and the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, as well as civilian internet infrastructures. The attackers had some success when they managed to spread a false message via the IDF’s official Twitter account saying that the Dimona nuclear reactor had been hit by rocket fire and that there was a risk of a radioactive leak. Some of the attacks against Israel were attributed to the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), a group of Assad-supporting hackers that in recent years has developed significant attack capabilities and described by Michael Hayden, former Director of the CIA and the NSA, as a veritable Iranian proxy. Continue reading

Iraqi Government Takes Its Fight With ISIS Online

BY Shane Harris JUNE 17, 2014 – 06:28 PM

Iraqi soldiers may have dropped their weapons, stripped off their uniforms, and fled the Islamist jihadists who have conquered a growing list of cities as they move closer to Baghdad. On the battlefields of cyberspace, by contrast, the Iraqi government is putting up a fierce fight against the forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).

In the past week, government ministries have blocked Internet access in regions where ISIS has a physical foothold in an attempt to stop the group from spreading propaganda and recruiting followers among Iraq’s repressed Sunni minority. The government has also ordered Internet service providers across the country to block all access to certain social media sites, including Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, which are ISIS’s favorite tools for spreading propaganda and posting photos and videos of their victories over the Iraqi military and their wholesale slaughter of unarmed Shiites — both sources of tremendous embarrassment for the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite. Continue reading

Hackers attack Mexico’s official websites

Coat of arms of Mexico.

Image via Wikipedia

(philstar.com) Updated September 16, 2011 10:15 AM

MEXICO CITY (Xinhua) — Several Mexican official websites, including that of the Defense and Public Security Ministry, were out of service Thursday after attacks by a hacker group called Anonymous.

The ministry’s websites and those of several local governments went offline Thursday afternoon and could not be accessed so far.

“The website of the Defense Ministry is temporarily out of service and will be restored during the day,” a spokesman for the ministry said, without confirming whether it had been a target of cyber attack.

Continue reading

Facebook And The Future Of Fear

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

April 13, 2011: The U.S. is planning to eliminate the five-color terrorism alert level system and, instead, use Twitter and Facebook to more quickly distribute more detailed terror alerts. Government officials noted that there are already 150 million Americans on Facebook. That’s about half the entire population. Only six percent of Americans use Twitter, but that six percent stays on top of things and are well connected with the mass media and major news sites on the Internet. Continue reading

Curtain lifted on Egypt’s spy agency

1983 Anon, Cairo? - Hosni Mubarak & Yasser Ara...

Image by blacque_jacques via Flickr

CAIRO—For years, Marwa Farouk lived in fear of Egypt’s state security agents, who arrested and interrogated her several times for her work as an activist.

But now it is the state security apparatus, which served as the main enforcer of former president Hosni Mubarak’s regime, that has become vulnerable. In stunning succession, its headquarters have been overrun by angry mobs, its once-dreaded police force hidden away and, on Tuesday night, its top officials were placed under house arrest. Continue reading

Venezuela: Chavez equates Twitter with terrorism

By Xeni Jardin at 8:46 AM February 4, 2010

After finding himself on the receiving end of widespread criticism and unfriendly hashtags on Twitter, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has announced that he now considers Twitter messages and social networking as terrorist threats. Continue reading