ISIS Develops Secure Android Chat App, Anti-Terrorism Network Says

January 18, 2016 Updated: January 18, 2016
FONT BFONT SText size

ISIS terrorists are now communicating over a new secure Android app called “Alrawi.” The encrypted chat, discovered by Ghost Security Group, would make it harder for governments to spy on ISIS members.

Ghost Security told DefenseOne that the app has “encrypted communications features although rudimentary to Telegram or other more-company created ones.”

Reports say ISIS, known as the Islamic State or ISIL, is looking to use the app to recruit members, distribute propaganda, send encrypted messages, and publish videos and news updates. 

“The application’s primary purpose is for propaganda distribution. Using the app you are able to follow the most recent news and video clips,” Ghost Security added to DefenseOne.

Some politicians have called for private chat services like Telegram and WhatsApp to create a back-door for government officials to spy on terrorists. After reports that the Paris attackers used WhatsApp to coordinate their attack, anti-encryption politicians renewed their efforts.

The Alrawi app would presumably give ISIS protection against these initiatives, not to mention insurance against being banned. In the days after the Paris attack, numerous ISIS-affiliated accounts were banned on Telegram.

The Alrawi app can’t be downloaded from Google Play, according to TechCrunch, and must be installed through an un-secure website. It’s possible that Google can take further steps to ban apps like Alrawi from their operating system entirely.