Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

U.N. Report Reveals Secret Law Enforcement Techniques for Decrypting Online Communications
December 21st, 2012

by JG Vibes

A new UN report gives some insight into new techniques that law enforcement is using to spy on suspects and activists.

This information is especially useful for people who want to stay off the radar as much as possible while online.

Many of the people caught in these situations were legitimately violent groups, but you can be sure that these same tactics are being used against peaceful activists as well.

Hacker10 writes:

“Buried inside a recent United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime report titled “Use of Internet for Terrorist Purposes” one can carve out details and examples of  law enforcement electronic surveillance techniques that are normally kept secret.

The report includes real accounts of investigative techniques countering terrorist groups secure communication systems.”

Some of the most important points covered in the report are as follows:

  • Point 187: Members of the outlawed Turkish Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) used steganography software called Camouflage to hide messages inside JPEG files and encrypted attachments with WinZip before emailing them. A joint Turkish and Italian police operation managed to decrypt the messages and arrest over a hundred people involved with the organization.
  • Point 194: An Alqeda affiliated webmaster managing a jihadist website from Brazil was specifically targeted by the police to grab him by surprise while he was still online to make sure that they would get his encryption keys thanks to which the investigators were able to open all relevant encrypted files.
  • Point 280: International members of the guerilla group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) communicated with their counterparts hiding messages inside images with steganography and sending the emails disguised as spam, deleting Internet browsing cache afterwards to make sure that the authorities would not get hold of the data. Spanish and Colombian authorities cooperated to break the encryption keys and successfully deciphered the messages.
  • Point 374: German citizens members of a group called Islamic Jihad Union used the dead email inbox trick to communicate in between them, the suspects did not send the email  to prevent wire tipping in transit, saving the messages to the draft folder instead for the other part to read and reply, coupled with accessing the Internet using insecure wireless access points of unsuspecting citizens with one of the suspects using encryption which forensics expert tried to access and failed.

Use of Internet for Terrorist Purposes


Read more articles by this author HERE.

J.G. Vibes is the author of an 87 chapter counter culture textbook called Alchemy of the Modern Renaissance, a staff writer and reporter for The Intel Hub and host of a show called Voluntary Hippie Radio. 

You can keep up with his work, which includes free podcasts, free e-books & free audiobooks at his website

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