Jihad Goes Cyber
|The New York Post is reporting that Islamic hack-attacks on websites have escalated, opening another front in their war on free expression.|
"Muslim computer-hacker gangs have launched a massive attack on Danish and Western Web sites as part of the mass protests across the Arab world over the publication of cartoons making fun of the Prophet Mohammed.
The cyber-crime monitoring group Zone-H.org said in a statement that more than 1,000 Danish, Israeli and European sites were defaced or shut down by Islamic hackers in the last week.
And experts fear that's just the beginning of what could be a massive cyber-jihad stretching from the Middle East and Europe to the United States and dominating cyberspace for weeks, costing millions of dollars. "We have definitely seen a spike in the number of attacks. This definitely appears to be the result of the controversy over the Prophet Mohammed cartoons," said Jim Melnick of the cyber-security firm iDefense. "A full-blown e-jihad is a real possibility."
In Denmark, where the cartoon crisis first erupted, more than 578 Web sites have been struck by hackers, Zone-H.org reported. Web targets included Jyllands-Posten, the newspaper that published the 12 cartoons, a Danish country-music site, a gambling site and a motorcycle-fan site, experts said.
Most of the attacks are "defacements," in which sites are hacked and sprayed with messages.
The e-graffiti mixes profanity with calls for an Islamic boycott of Danish goods and warnings of suicide bombings..."
Numerous other reports are surfacing of blogs being attacked. This is a serious issue. The Internet has been used by Jihadists for some some time to spread propaganda, communicate with each other, and many believe coordinate terrorist activities. There has also been talk of disruption to information systems infrastructure such as financial markets, banking, and defense department systems as intended targets. Now repression has been added.
Still, at least the specter of an e-Jihad leaves a little room for levity. Imagine the headlines we may be facing in the near future:
"Senseless Slaughter of HTML in Terrorist Attack"
"E-Jihad Brings Down Porn Sites - Millions Mourn"
"Muslims Hackers Hold Microsoft Code Hostage, Demand Open Sourcing - Millions Applaud"
Feel free to add your own headline predictions in comments.