The Islamic State has released a training guide on how to tweet safely without giving out important information such as the location of the user to intelligence agencies including NSA.
An ISIS document widely shared among the Islamic State followers asks all jihadists to remove metadata from their tweets and stop posting names, locations and identifiable photographs to hoodwink NSA or any intelligence agencies.
A recent The Financial Times report found that ISIS through its prolific social media presence may inadvertently leak data information on the whereabouts of its ISIS fighters online.
The report noted that the Western intelligence agencies such as America's NSA or Britain's GCHQ have been able to gain in-depth information on ISIS through the pictures and messages released by ISIS fighters on Twitter.
The Islamic State militants, who have been actively been using Twitter for spreading its propaganda reportedly were being tracked by intelligence agencies through the Tweet metadata, which includes the date and time, including the post location.
However, the militants have understood the risk and have now released the Arabic language manual guides among ISIS fighters, which gives detailed instructions on how to remove this data. Recently in Kobane, a Syrian border, reports claimed that over 300 ISIS fighters were killed in the town, mainly due to the targeted US-coalition led air attacks.
"A number of security blinds have appeared that have benefited the enemy and have helped expose the identities of some brothers or identify some sites used by the mujahideen with ease," says the training manual translated from Arabic.
The document then goes on to explain what those gaps are and the way they expose 'data that could turn your hair grey', according to the Financial Times.
'We know this issue is not only tied to pictures, but to PDF files, word files and video files,' it added.
These guides also ask the fighters to avoid posing identifiable pictures of individuals. An ISIS supporter even tweeted on the lessons learned from the ISIS training manual: "Your abstention from posting details and your brothers' movements during [the] Hit camp blessed battle two days ago was the reason God granted you victory."
Darien Kindlund, director of threat research at FireEye, a US cyber-security company said metadata – latent information in digital files – can be extremely valuable to intelligence agencies.
He said: '[It] can contain information about the identity of the author, when the content was created/modified, and potentially reveal location information around where the content was authored.'
Reports out of Raqqa - a stronghold of the outfit in Syria - claim that the group has also grown increasingly paranoid about the use of WiFi and WiFi 'boosters' used to extend internet coverage in the city.
Recently, the ISIS also has released a statement asking its followers from shunning the WhatsApp, as it has visible security loops, which could easily be manipulated by NSA and GCHQ.
Whatsapp has been a popular messaging app that has been widely used by ISIS even in its combat operations. The group reportedly also has used WhatsApp for its recruitment drive in US and several European countries.