On August 11, 2021, a prominent pro-Islamic State (ISIS) disseminator of cyber security information published an article titled "Security Threats: Hacking Websites and Ways to counter [this Threat]."
Posted on the group's website, the article warned ISIS supporters who are involved with dissemination of the organization's material online to be cautious and take the necessary precautions, because ISIS enemies are probably surveilling them and trying to penetrate their ranks, among other ways by hacking the websites which they frequent or operate. The article warns that, "There is only one consequence of security negligence – arrest." At the same time, the group asserts that these threats don't mean that operatives should abandon their media efforts, but that they should take more stringent precautions to prevent repeated hacks, just as large companies like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram do.
The article opens with the reminder that the hacking threat has existed for years, "since supporters [of the organization] started to use the Internet and tried to develop independence from social media networks and to supply a media arena where supporters could read various statements and publications."
The article compares the current media battle to a military confrontation, "Our enemies use all the technological, material, and human resources at their disposal during all the hours of the day to track supporters of the organization who use the Internet in all the countries. Just as in a war you are likely to be wounded at the front, so the news websites are a target and the supporters are a target. The media war and the hacking threats are not related to supporters. Hacking is also perpetrated against large companies with huge budgets which employ software engineers who work 24/7 to protect the servers of these large companies."
Despite the threats, the article urges ISIS supporters not to halt their activities but rather to take more stringent security measures: "One hundred percent protection doesn’t exist, but regarding website developers, the treatment of the threat is by means of obstructing security hacks and imposing maximum security measures… This is what everyone does. Therefore, the stupid idea that hacking a specific site will end its activity is incorrect. Sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and thousands of others have been targets for hacking attempts in recent years. They have not stopped operating because of this rather they have increased their security measures… Supporters of the organization are required to increase their security measures by means of a TOR browser or VPN services…"
Furthermore, the article asserts that in order to confront the enemy one must learn about how it operates, as is explained in two guides published previously by the group. The article also cautions about error warnings and incorrect information about securing data which is disseminated by ISIS enemies with the aim of sowing discord and suspicion among supporters.
The concluding section states, "We are in a media war. The security threats will not stop. Your security consciousness is the way to cope with these threats. Maintain a high level of awareness by tracking the security information that we publish on Element chat server, to learn about the developments and warnings. Don't make do with only protecting yourself, but share and explain things to your brothers, do not allow them to be easy prey for our enemies…"