Terrorists, technology and fighting back

As for communications, they are vital for any armed force, both the good and the bad. Internet-based technology has opened up many dark corners from which to plan surreptitious, seditious acts.

Inspire includes plenty of information on how to coordinate with allies. Unsurprisingly, encryption is key and the magazine has focused on one software program called Asrar al-Mujahideen 2.0.'

It should come as no surprise such software exists, or that more than capable programmers are operating for extremist groups. In one edition of Inspire, the writer outlines how to use the system, create keys, receive public keys of other parties, as well as how to encrypt and decrypt messages.

Asrar al-Mujahideen 2.0 seems simple enough, using both public and private keys, along with straightforward tabs such as Keys Manager' and File Shredder.'

The system looks easy to use too. With just a few clicks, some copying of code and following of instructions, users can apparently send and receive encrypted messages without much trouble.

Intriguingly, the article continues to talk about the importance of checking whether the copy of Asrar is legitimate or not. It's not down to any licensing laws, but because "the enemy" has created a copy to dupe genuine users, according to the writer.

"The only difference is that the enemy had built in a mechanism that would allow them to spy on your program if they were to just have access to your public key," they said.

As for other advice, users were told not to keep the Asrar program on their hard drive, but instead store it on a USB as anything on a hard drive could be hacked if the user accesses the internet in any capacity.

"It's possible that the enemy will use spy programs to infiltrate your computer and figure out your password for your private key by recording key strokes," the article read.

Then there are tips that wouldn't be out of place on any security blog, such as regular password alterations. It is all eerily familiar, similar to so much business technology being used by organisations across the world today.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.