Oh goody !
A new data encryption program designed for the use of Islamist militants has gathered wide attention in the information technology community. The software, called Mujahideen Secrets 2, is designed to protect message content as well as the identities and locations of terrorists while online. It is available for free from the password-protected al-ekhlaas website. The program is a significant improvement on the 2007 Mujahideen Secrets software, using 1024-bit encryption instead of the earlier 256-bit version.
According to the website: "This special edition of the software was developed and issued by Ekhlaas in order to support the mujahideen in general and the Islamic State in Iraq in particular" (Reuters, January 18; Internet Business Law Services, January 28).Al-ekhlaas’ domain, Ek-ls.org, is hosted on the web by Tampa-based Noc4hosts Inc., which is in turn owned by the Hi Velocity hosting provider, also based in Tampa (internetnews.com, January 24).
Offering encryption software is not illegal, though al-ekhlaas has been forced to change service providers several times due to objectionable content.
The new technology was first identified by Paul Henry of Secure Computing Corporation (NASDAQ: SCUR), a San Jose-based company that “provides internet security appliances and software solutions” to “proactively protect enterprises” from web security threats (securecomputing.com). According to Henry, the cyber-jihadis “are concerned with the backdoors in publicly available code... so they decided to write something themselves" (Information Week, January 25).