Web Network Hacked, Al Qaeda Can Only Talk to Itself for a While

Sad ClownAl Qaeda’s online network has been brought down by a sophisticated attack that some cybersecurity experts say was probably the work of the government. The hack hit not just the website al-Shamukh, but its server. If an official agency indeed conducted the attack, it would be the first time the government has brought down an Al Qaeda website.

The fact that the forum wasn’t knocked out sooner is revealing. Forcing a website offline can be a relatively easy matter. A so-called denial-of-service attack, which floods a website’s servers with enormous amounts of webpage requests is a popular hacking activity. But it apparently wasn’t used in this instance. Instead, cyber experts said it was a more complex attack.

Adds the blog Geek With Laptop:

“Al-Qaida’s online communications have been temporarily crippled, and it does not have a single trusted distribution channel available on the Internet,” said Evan Kohlmann of Flashpoint Global Partners, a group which monitors al-Qaida’s online communications.  Kohlmann went on to speak of an attack that was “well coordinated and involved the use of an unusual cocktail of relatively sophisticated techniques.”

Kohlman said the network will probably be back online after “at least several days.”

Al Qaeda’s websites have been attacked before, sometimes with a little Western humor to add insult to the injury. Recently, the British government broke into Inspire, an online magazine of the terrorist group, and replaced bomb-making instructions with cupcake recipes.

Those British. Such decadent infidels.

4 Responses to “Web Network Hacked, Al Qaeda Can Only Talk to Itself for a While”

  1. Jim L.

    At the end of your article, you mention the British cyber attack again al-Qaida’s Inspire online magazine, do you know if US Cyber Command every did a follow-up survey on which cup cake they liked the most? My favorite was of course the MSC Mojito Cupcake…

  2. Jim L.

    Interesting, now it seems that BlackKatSec, a new splinter group of LulzSec/AntiSec/Anonymous, has turned up quietly making claim to the hack on shamikh1 with GoDaddy suspending their domain for abuse. BlackKatSec vehemently claims no support from any Government – and I believe them.

    Whether BlackKatSec did or did not actually do this, the job got done. I suspect that the US and UK cyber guys will be trying to hunt down BlackKatSec. Whether it is to try to jail them or hire them, probably a little of both.

    This year’s upcoming DEFCON in Vegas should be a grand time with all that is going on in the cyber world… I’m wondering is the writers from Mad Magazine will be there. It should be perfect fodder for at least 18 months of “Spy vs. Spy” comic strips.