Jewish Community Center Bomb Threats
Last summer I wrote about how hacking the phone system could be used to automate terrorism. That analysis is proving to be spot on. Today, we learned that a 19 year old American-Israeli living in Israel, hacked satellites and phone equipment to make 120 fake bomb threats Jewish Community Centers (JCCs) in the US, Australia, and New Zealand.
Further, the timing, target type, and number of threats led to the successful exploitation of a social systempunkt (the most vulnerable part of a complex network). In this case, the attack exploited anti-Trump media narratives to label the President as an anti-semite. It worked.
London Terrorist Attack
Last summer, I wrote extensively about how ISIS was using social networking innovatively to remotely activate terrorist attacks around the world. In short, this new model did away with the training, planning, and support required for traditional attacks. This lack of communication makes an attack very hard to detect.
Here's how they did it:
- Planning, preparing, and executing an attack on your own is a rite of initiation into ISIS.
- An online pledge of fealty to the Caliph (Facebook live video or post) during or just before the attack connects the attack to ISIS.
- Upon seeing the attack and the pledge, ISIS will immediately accept the attacker as a 'soldier of the Islamic state.'
Since I wrote about this method, we've seen ISIS make a wholesale shift to it as this NYT graphic shows:
How does this relate to the attack in London?
London appears to fit the my model for online activation. We'll know for sure when we get confirmation when we find an online pledge of fealty by the attacker.
PS: Since I first wrote about this model last year, lots of attacks using it have been made. It's now possible to ask the question: Is online activation more effective than planned attacks?
The attacks appear to be as large as planned attacks. e.g.
They also appear to be more numerous, more geographically dispersed, far harder to detect/foil (fewer attacks prevented), and nearly costless. This suggests that online activation is a more successful method than planned/coordinated attacks.