Suspected terrorists in Europe, young men, are playing online video games with their friends, some of whom are also suspected terrorists. These games have chat functionality. Security forces are caught off guard as no one was thinking of FIFA 15 as a terrorist communication tool. The reality is, almost anything young people use today allows them to chat with each other. This is less an encryption problem than an overabundance of communications options available to, and used by, young people.The French found out long ago that no one is planning attacks over the phone any more.
Another great post by @thegrugq on OPSEC.
One of the main points here is that there are SO MANY OPTIONS for communication now for young people. And this makes it harder to monitor all of them.
But even more interesting is the fact that they’re not even needed to escape monitoring. Simply using lots of phones and switching them quickly seems to be highly effective.
His final point is super powerful as well: basically, the reason terrorists in Europe are finding success is because the authorities are failing at the very basics:
- They don’t have people who speak Arabic
- They stopped investing in counter-terrorism years ago and now they’re way behind
In other words, blocking and tackling.
The terrorists aren’t deploying some advanced ninja tactics; the authorities are just so behind and overwhelmed that they terrorists can basically talk out in the open, using unencrypted and common phones, and still not get caught. That’s what happened in Paris.