French-Language ISIS Media Outlet Posts Animated Tutorials On Securely Navigating And Communicating On The Internet

October 31, 2016

On October 6, 2016, the An-Nur Media Center, an official French-language Islamic State (ISIS) media outlet, distributed four animated video tutorials on secure internet communication. The object of the tutorials is to teach ISIS supporters and potential operatives how to decrease their visibility online and increase the security level of their communication, as the ability of potential recruits to communicate anonymously with potential handlers is critical to the success of their missions. The user-friendly tutorials aim to make complex communication security operations accessible to jihadi in the west.

The four tutorials are slickly produced, high definition computer generated animation videos that visually explain each step in the process accompanied by French text and ISIS songs. The tutorials cover both Mac and Windows operating systems, as well as Android. The videos were released through the An-Nur Center’s accounts on social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Telegram.

Video 1: “Anonymity Via TOR And VPN”

The video starts by warning of the difficulty of securing one’s online presence and the belief that it can be 100% secure. Thus, the video suggests to never share any personal data online. The first part of the video covers installing TOR (The Onion Router) on Windows and setting up a VPN (Virtual Private Network), such as through the free software SecurityKISS. The second part covers the same content on Apple products. The video suggests the use of an app called Tunnelblick and the site


Video 2: “Changing MAC Addresses On Windows And Mac OS”

For Windows systems, the video suggests the software offered by and explains the steps required to change the MAC address of the device upon each system boot. On Apple devices, the tutorial details the commands to execute in the Terminal command prompt in order to switch MAC addresses. The video finishes by advising jihadis against using personal Wi-Fi connections, instead recommending to using public hotspots or a neighbor’s Wi-Fi.


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