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Al-Qaeda Innovations Correlated To Unauthorized Disclosures By Snowden: Independent Verification Through Open Source Intelligence

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Students of history know what happens when adversaries learn how the good guys collect intelligence on them. They change their tactics, techniques or procedures and it gets much harder to know their intentions.

Most of us knew this is what would happen with the disclosures by Edward Snowden. And testimony by intelligence community professionals indicates they have had evidence this was occurring.

Now in one particular case we can verify that this is happening. Research released today by Recorded Future does just that.

As a reminder, Recorded Future brings insights from the global grid of the Internet into the hands of analysts and researchers. Analysts can use Recorded Future to visualize information in multiple intuitive ways that can help draw out insights from an incredible array of sources. I try to track the power of this system in many use cases but am continually surprised at how powerful a capability it is. Not only does it put web intelligence into context, but it enables assessments to be created, further researched/analyzed, and shared and collaborated over, all very quickly.

It is instructive to see how they can present this latest research into ways Al-Qaeda innovated after Snowden’s revelations.

Now for more on their assessment:

Recorded Future reported that:

Since 2007, Al-Qaeda’s use of encryption technology has been based on the Mujahideen Secrets platform which has developed to include support for mobile, instant messaging, and Macs.

Following the June 2013 Edward Snowden leaks we observe an increased pace of innovation, specifically new competing jihadist platforms and three (3) major new encryption tools from three (3) different organizations – GIMF, Al-Fajr Technical Committee, and ISIS – within a three to five-month time frame of the leaks.

They provide more meat and graphics here.

snowden-disclosure-impact-timeline

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley, former CTO of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), is Founder and CTO of Crucial Point LLC, a technology research and advisory firm providing fact based technology reviews in support of venture capital, private equity and emerging technology firms. He has extensive industry experience in intelligence and security and was awarded an intelligence community meritorious achievement award by AFCEA in 2008, and has also been recognized as an Infoworld Top 25 CTO and as one of the most fascinating communicators in Government IT by GovFresh.