Tuesday, January 02, 2007

"Mujahideen Secret" - Terrorist encryption

The MEMRI blog reports
On January 1, 2007 the Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF) announced the imminent release of new computer software called "Mujahideen Secret." According to the advertisement for the software (see below), it is "the first Islamic computer program for secure exchange [of information] on the Internet," and it provides users with "the five best encryption algorithms, and with symmetrical encryption keys (256 bit), asymmetrical encryption keys (2048 bit) and data compression [tools]."

This is probably good news.

The best encryption algorithms take years to create, and they are made public so cryptographers can try to find flaws. If the terrorists don't trust Western encryption and they wrote their own, almost certainly it has enough holes that the West's code-breakers will blow it open in a few days.

It is also entirely possible that the entire program was written by Western espionage services to begin with and it has a backdoor built in and is being marketed to the terrorists.

Either way, chances are that the big Internet sniffers at the NSA can recognize when messages are being passed with this encryption and the very existence of such messages automatically makes the endpoints suspect, so they will then know what to watch.

So - hooray for Islamist encryption!