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Al-Qaeda prefers Android over Apple's iOS

post #1 of 204
Thread Starter 
Apple's iOS has taken majority market share in education, government and the enterprise, but Google's Android has become the favored mobile platform among Al-Qaeda operatives.

Al-Qaeda Android


A new report by intelligence firm Recorded Future examined Al-Qaeda's changes in encryption in response to the Snowden leaks, noting "an increased pace of innovation, specifically new competing jihadist platforms and three major new encryption tools from three different organizations - GIMF, Al-Fajr Technical Committee, and ISIS - within a three to five-month time frame of the leaks."

The report noted that Al-Fajr and GIMF have both released new Android apps since the public exposure of the widespread nature of American spying, with the apps being advertised as using the "latest technological advancements" in order to evade detection.

The download page for GIMF's Tashfeer al-Jawwal app for Android and Symbian phones notes, "take your precautions, especially in the midst of the rapidly developing news about the cooperation of global companies with the international intelligence agencies, in the detection of data exchanged over smartphones."

The report stated that the release of these new Android apps highlights a continued "bet on mobile and Android as the preferred platform for these groups."

Android's unrestricted ability to sideload apps (install software that is not signed, from outside of a secure App Store) may be part of the platform's appeal to Al-Qaeda, in addition to terrorists' fears that Apple might cooperate with Western governments seeking to identify and stop their activities.

However, the primary reason Al-Qaeda likes Android is "the large availability and affordability of Android phones, especially in underdeveloped countries" the group stated. Android phones are the only choice for terrorist operatives in some locations.

Android is the cheap option



IDC, Gartner and Strategy Analytics have been incessantly calling attention to the percentage of worldwide smartphone and tablet users of products not using iOS, downplaying both usage stats and the Average Selling Prices of these devices in order to focus their audiences' attention entirely on their shipment estimates, which can be flexibly shifted to tell any desired story.

IDC's latest estimates on the smartphone market in 2014 have retracted all mention of ASPs, data which had previously shown that the shipment volumes supporting some form of Android were precipitously falling in price while Apple's sales of iPhones were not (below).



With ASPs of all Android phones falling from $441 in 2010 to just $276 in 2013, it is clear that the majority of Android phones are not devices comparable in functionality the iPhones Apple sells at an ASP of $650.

Samsung itself revealed that the majority of its "smartphones" were not its premium Galaxy S or Note devices but rather "mass market" devices it has referred to as "carrier friendly, good enough" phones.

Al-Qaeda bad news for Android users



While being naturally attracted to Android by its price, availability and unrestricted app policy, Al-Qaeda's preference for Google's platform also means that its operatives are increasingly likely to target Android vulnerabilities simply due to their familiarity with the platform. In addition to Android users being singled out for targeted malware attacks, the insecure nature of the platform provides Al-Qaeda with a vast network of devices to exploit for use in either distributed Denial of Service attacks or as a supercomputing cluster.

Google has left open plenty of vectors for malware attacks seeking to spy on users or take control of their devices to form botnets.

The search giant has found it extremely difficult to distribute security patches and updates to its Android users, even among late modeled smartphone customers in affluent countries, as represented by the company's Google Play statistics.

A series of failures to properly authenticate security credentials in Android has opened up widespread vulnerabilities for hundreds of millions of Android users, many of whom are in the very same undeveloped countries that Al-Qaeda operates within, where nobody accesses Google Play and therefore is unlikely to ever get Android security updates delivered from Google in any form.

In addition to Android users being singled out for targeted malware attacks, the insecure nature of the platform provides Al-Qaeda with a vast network of devices to exploit for use in either distributed Denial of Service attacks or as a supercomputing cluster.

All users, including those on iOS, can be victims of such distributed DoS attacks, which generally seek to prevent a user's access to the network or disable a network server from being reachable.
post #2 of 204
You've gotta be fucking kidding me with this article.

I can't even make it past the headline, DED opinion articles have reached a new all time low.
post #3 of 204
Daniel,

I don't often scratch my head reading your pieces, but this one left a bald spot.

And this is AI news because?
post #4 of 204
@Apple ][ is gonna love this article.

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post #5 of 204
Android fans have been insisting that Google's security issues (like the most recent Fake ID) are not a problem because Google Play Services and store scanning can prevent many users from falling victim.

However, the fact that there are hundreds of millions of insecure Android installations outside of the US and other Play-using nations means that Al-Qaeda -- which is already developing Android apps to encrypt messages among jihadists -- has large numbers of mobile users to easily target.

Thanks, Google. Too bad you didn't think about security at all before creating a massively insecure mobile installed base for malware.
post #6 of 204
It wouldn't surprise me if this was the case, the lower price of android handsets and the lack of needing to pass through the App Store gate would make android more attractive to those with evil intent. In fact, I would find it hard to believe Apple would approve an app openly aimed at helping jihadis encrypt communications. And the wide distribution of where the phones can be obtained means that it would be hard for counter terrorism agencies to intercept the phone prior to delivery to install snooping software/hardware.

The downside for the lunatics is that no doubt it would be easier to compromise an android based network using cheap handsets, and thus using older versions of Android OS. So I doubt NSA is worried, maybe it even sneakily encourages it.
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post #7 of 204

Awesome topic!

 

I'm not going to bother to search back through all of my prior posts, but I'm almost certain that I have mentioned something similar to this topic a long time ago, at least once, if not more.

 

Going back many years ago, when they were hunting down terrorist scum in crappy places like Afghanistan and Pakistan, when the terrorists were captured, they almost always had ugly and bulky PC laptops!

 

I'm not saying that it is inconceivable or impossible, but I've never heard of any Islamic terrorists who were caught with Macs. And believe me, this subject is right up my alley, so I know what I'm talking about. When they shot dead the disgusting Bin Laden, do you think that he had a Macbook Air in his compound? Hell no.

 

It also makes perfect sense that Al-Qaeda terrorists prefer Android!

 

Apple is for creative people, and terrorists are not exactly the creative type. And no, figuring out new ways of killing people or blowing yourself up does not qualify as being creative.

 

Android is obviously for really poor people and now it's also apparently for Al-Qaeda terrorists too! 

 

I didn't think that my opinion of Android users could possibly sink any lower than it currently is, but amazingly, I detest Android users even more than before now.

 

I'm actually taking a flight tomorrow to Vegas. I assume that I will mostly only see iOS devices being used on my flight, but I will certainly be keeping an eye out for anybody who is using Android on the plane, as they are far more likely to be a terrorist.

post #8 of 204
Why is this on AI? Al Qaeda on AI? Wait.....
post #9 of 204
We know North Korea prefers Apple though..
post #10 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by dnd0ps View Post

Why is this on AI? Al Qaeda on AI? Wait.....

 

I and L are not even the same letter. 

post #11 of 204

So, anyone caught carrying an Android smartphone is a potential terrorist?  Hey, that makes sense.  Strip search 'em and lock 'em up.  I sure hope Homeland Security is aware of this in New York City.  If I see anyone using an Android smartphone I should report it right away and know I'm merely doing my duty to protect the American way of life.

post #12 of 204
wtf AI? This should really not be an article. It's shameless guilt by association (ie if you use Android, you're more likely to be a terrorist).

It might actually be interesting if they were using iPhones because of the hypocrisy of making use of technology that's among the most recognizable symbols of American influence in the world, something which they despise.

I have no problem with other articles that primarily focus on Samsung or Android, but this is going too far.

PS -- AI, your iPhone app hasn't been updated for iOS 7 yet...
post #13 of 204

I have not really used a more current version of Android, but when we had some Honeycomb tablets in the company for testing back then, martyrdom was actually a term that came to my mind.

post #14 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post
 

I have not really used a more current version of Android, but when we had some Honeycomb tablets in the company for testing back then, martyrdom was actually a term that came to my mind.

 

haha, that's how I felt about my Droid Incredible & HTC Flyer before fully switching over.  So maybe the article should be edited to reflect the likelihood that Android is actually causing more people to become terrorists...

post #15 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post
 

Awesome topic!

 

I'm not going to bother to search back through all of my prior posts, but I'm almost certain that I have mentioned something similar to this topic a long time ago, at least once, if not more.

 

Going back many years ago, when they were hunting down terrorist scum in crappy places like Afghanistan and Pakistan, when the terrorists were captured, they almost always had ugly and bulky PC laptops!

 

I'm not saying that it is inconceivable or impossible, but I've never heard of any Islamic terrorists who were caught with Macs. And believe me, this subject is right up my alley, so I know what I'm talking about. When they shot dead the disgusting Bin Laden, do you think that he had a Macbook Air in his compound? Hell no.

 

It also makes perfect sense that Al-Qaeda terrorists prefer Android!

 

Apple is for creative people, and terrorists are not exactly the creative type. And no, figuring out new ways of killing people or blowing yourself up does not qualify as being creative.

 

Android is obviously for really poor people and now it's also apparently for Al-Qaeda terrorists too! 

 

I didn't think that my opinion of Android users could possibly sink any lower than it currently is, but amazingly, I detest Android users even more than before now.

 

I'm actually taking a flight tomorrow to Vegas. I assume that I will mostly only see iOS devices being used on my flight, but I will certainly be keeping an eye out for anybody who is using Android on the plane, as they are far more likely to be a terrorist.

Lmao. Wonderful reply. You and Daniel make this site for what it is, at least for me.

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post #16 of 204

Really??  This??...

Man, you got no article to write, take the weekend off. We won't mind.

 

First that weird "Beats" commercial thing (or whatever it is); now this.

I'm really feeling quite discombobulated.

post #17 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobSchlob View Post

I'm really feeling quite discombobulated.

Isn't that discombobschlobulated?

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post #18 of 204

What a ridiculous article, a total waste of space. I am sure some ANALyst will tell us what overwhelming marketshare Samsung and Android have in the Al-Qaeda market and that Apple needs to up their game or lose the terrorist market.

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post #19 of 204

This makes sense.
No need to jail break android phones to install their nasty terrorism Apps.

They probably damage many phones, cheap androids meet their simple tasks.

post #20 of 204

Suicide bomber blown up prematurely by spam text

 

 

 

:lol::D:smokey:;)8-)

This happened a while ago, but it's equally as hilarious today as it was back then. And I bet that it wasn't an iPhone.

 

A "BLACK Widow" suicide bomber who planned to detonate explosives in central Moscow was killed when a spam text message from her mobile-phone company set off the device early.

 

http://www.news.com.au/technology/suicide-bomber-blown-up-prematurely-by-spam-text/story-e6frfro0-1225997374717


Edited by Apple ][ - 8/2/14 at 11:14pm
post #21 of 204
From the title and the early-Sunday posting time, I knew this had to be a DED piece.

Apple Insider is the Daily Planet of Apple news sites, and DED is the Clark Kent of internet reporters.

"Fighting a never-ending battle for Truth, Justice, and the American(Apple) Way."

Love it!!!

Daniel Swanson

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post #22 of 204
I always enjoy reading DED's take on articles that I've read a day or 2 earlier like this one, orginally posted on Ars: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/08/terrorists-embracing-new-android-crypto-in-wake-of-snowden-revelations/

I'm still waiting for his synopsis on this one: http://arstechnica.com/security/2014/08/microsoft-security-sandbox-for-ie-still-broken-after-all-these-years/

My main b*tch about Android is the way the nubers numbers Nubers are always so skewed, lumping everything outside of Google's control for marketshare superiority and allowing devices not much moe powerful that feature phones running a 4-5 year old version of Android.

Winning is everything, even when it's not... like being a terrorist's favorite OS.

Edit: Nubers actually fits better to Android 1smoking.gif
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post #23 of 204
@Apple][
Unfortunately, the Islamic terrorists do use Macs as well. At least in their PR departments. There are some online magazines that they produce and I was asked by a security professional friend of mine to analyze a few copies of the PDFs that were being distributed and meta data inside clearly pointed to Mac based Adobe and other software being used to create them. One had Mac Photoshop and InDesign meta data and another Mac Photoshop and some other Mac based PDF combiner software metadata.
post #24 of 204
@Apple][ - be careful in Vegas dude. I here the Android carrying scum is scamming the tables and are playing NFC trickery with the dice when they're not cooking up a plan to bring Stevey Wynn diwn to size. Don't get caught in the middle is all the advise I can give 1smoking.gif
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post #25 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by chadbag View Post

@Apple][
Unfortunately, the Islamic terrorists do use Macs as well. At least in their PR departments. There are some online magazines that they produce and I was asked by a security professional friend of mine to analyze a few copies of the PDFs that were being distributed and meta data inside clearly pointed to Mac based Adobe and other software being used to create them. One had Mac Photoshop and InDesign meta data and another Mac Photoshop and some other Mac based PDF combiner software metadata.

But that's because everyone including those living in caves or holes in the ground knows that you only use creativity software on Macs and leave coordinate spreadsheets and such to MS Office and VB Script.
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post #26 of 204

I've seen some click-bait articles in my time, but this one takes the biscuit. 

 

I can speed read, but this is still 30 seconds of my life that I'm not getting back.

 

Shame on you, DED.

post #27 of 204
This has to be one of the most peculiar articles I've ever seen on here before. I don't quite understand how the type of phones used by terrorists has any significance or newsworthiness.
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post #28 of 204
Quote:
 ...Al-Qaeda's preference for Google's platform also means that its operatives are increasingly likely to target Android vulnerabilities...

This article is full or lame speculation.  Al-Qaeda isn't going to be able to hold a candle to Russian or Chinese hackers who have enormous economic and profit incentives to fund their targeting of Android vulnerabilities.  Just because someone is bad and they have an Android phone doesn't make them a world class black hatter.

post #29 of 204
Stupid piece but I clicked. Yah got me.
post #30 of 204
I'm picturing a Samsung ad in which iPhone fans are queued up outside an Apple store waiting for the iPhone 6 to go on sale. They're being harassed by terrorists waving their Android phones at them, beheading the people at the front of the line. They're showing off their cool new encrypted messaging apps, remote detonation widgets and bragging that they can detonate 2 bombs at the same time without having to leave the app...

An ad like that would be ridiculous and in very poor taste - but not all that much more so than any of the other recent ads I've seen out of Samsung! /s
post #31 of 204
Achmed: what it really boils down to is Apple doesn't innovate anymore, and IOS can't run flash. Since we wrote our IED app in flash, originally due to a name misunderstanding, we're sticking with Android. Plus I need a really big screen to hold me over while I wait for my 72 virgins and crapple won't let me run my SNES emulators. I'd play Genesis too, but you know, Allah and Genesis don't really mix.
post #32 of 204
When you're an Android-using terrorist and you die, you go to heaven and get the 72 GB version of your handset.

Praise be to Android!
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post #33 of 204
I've been reading your articles fort years, DED, and most of the time they are really excellent. However this one just comes across as a bit ridiculous, which is too bad because it will only give a lot of your 'opponents' one more reason to dismiss your arguments- when most of the time you're actually spot on. Keep up the good work.
post #34 of 204
Quote:
While being naturally attracted to Android by its price, availability and unrestricted app policy, Al-Qaeda's preference for Google's platform also means that its operatives are increasingly likely to target Android vulnerabilities simply due to their familiarity with the platform. In addition to Android users being singled out for targeted malware attacks, the insecure nature of the platform provides Al-Qaeda with a vast network of devices to exploit for use in either distributed Denial of Service attacks or as a supercomputing cluster. 

This is a pretty big leap.  Android is popular with the terrorists because it is easily modifiable (for encryption) and to get cheap phones.  Is there any actual proof Al Qaeda are planning DoS attacks?  If there is, it was not cited in the article.  

post #35 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by MagMan1979 View Post

I'm shocked he hasn't been banned after that last vile escapade of his around here...
That certainly made for interesting reading...
post #36 of 204
Isn't it obvious why terrorists would choose android over ios. IOS is so compromised by the nsa they know that they can't have secure communications and have to go to a platform that can give them that security.

there's a totally reversed opinion taken from DED's diatribe.
post #37 of 204
Just joined this forums so I could post after reading this complete piece of garbage. There is usually some ill research rubbish floating around on apple related sites:no:, but this takes this biscuit. Complete and utter bollocks
And I'm a die hard apple fan

1oyvey.gif
post #38 of 204

Looks like DED has reached the bottom of the Android barrel. What's he going to do now?

post #39 of 204

Hitler was a vegetarian. 

post #40 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by stike vomit View Post

Looks like DED has reached the bottom of the Android barrel. What's he going to do now?
Maybe he could get AI to fix the site advertising that kicks me out of Safari and to some stupid game on the AppStore. That's fucking annoying.
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