Former USAF/NSA Code-breaker, Arabic Translator Reviews New Jihadist Toolkit

Encryption tools in ’Mujahedeen Secrets 2’ show a software development lifecycle with increasing level of sophistication, Jeff Bardin says

Jeff Bardin, a former USAF/NSA code-breaker and Arabic translator who blogs for CSOonline.com at “Brave New World of Infosec,” has posted a review of the new encryption and file-shredding tools now available for free download from an Islamic network used by Al Qaeda jihadists.

The Mujahedeen Secrets 2 Program, from the Islamic Faithful Network, is the second version of a toolkit intended to help militants communicate with greater secrecy. It includes automatic message encryption/authentication, file encryption, digital signature creation/checking and file shredding.

Bardin--who held Top Secret clearances as a code-breaker and Arabic translator for the United States Air Force while at the National Security Agency--says the download was easy to find and available for download on several sites. After spending some time reviewing the tools, he concluded that the toolkit shows an increasing sophistication level over a previous version of Mujahedeen Secrets (which is sometimes spelled Mujahideen). He wrote:

"I was able to create keys, encrypt and decrypt files as well as utilize all the features of the toolset. The help screens were detailed, including indexing and search capabilities. What was also of interest was the fact that the tool was in English, although the download information as well as the help files were in Arabic.

"This provides groups like Al-Qaw-eda methods to securely transmit and wipe their files. Not that they haven’t had such tools in the past, but a second edition toolset demonstrates a software development lifecycle with some level of sophistication and planning. We should not underestimate our enemies."

For Bardin’s full review of the toolkit, including several screen shots, visit his blog entry, "A Gift from the Islamic Faithful Network – Mujahedeen Secrets 2 Program."

Managing Editor Sarah Scalet can be reached at sscalet@cxo.com.

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