The militant group Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (ISIS) has reportedly devised an encrypted Android messaging app dubbed as Alrawi. The app allegedly allows communication among its members without being caught or interrupted by security agencies and the government.
Unlike conventional apps that can directly be downloaded in Google Play Store or Apple's AppStore, the app Alwari entails an ISIS supporter to download the apk code and sideload it on a device. The alleged ISIS application was first uncovered by a counterterrorism group known as Ghost Security Group, which also detected the Amaq Agency app used by the militant group to spread its news and recruit members.
In a blog posted by Defense One, a representative from Ghost Security revealed that Alwari's main intention is for propaganda distribution. Utilizing the app gives members up-to-date news and videos. ISIS is also reportedly circulating booklets that contain every member's things to do and not to do as well as a cheat sheet of tools that allows them to safely communicate with fellow members.
Although its security measures are not as advanced like What's App and Telegram, Alwari can still allegedly protect texts from being interrupted. And because it is not backed by a company, government policy and sanctions cannot be applied.
ISIS' presence to a wide variety of media gives FBI and other government agencies a hard time to track them. Last year, social networking sites including Facebook and Twitter had to take down thousands of accounts associated with ISIS. Meanwhile, a hacktivist group called Anonymous has declared war against the militant group, promising it will hunt the jihadists online.
After the recent attacks in Jakarta, ISIS claimed responsibility over the tragedy through Telegram, an encrypted messaging app. This caused the networking site to put down over 150 ISIS-related accounts in the aftermath of the Paris attacks last year.
However, this also brings encrypted messaging app services into the limelight, debating which weighs more — privacy or security.