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Thread: 'Electronic Jihad' fails to materialise

  1. #1
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
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    Jan 2002

    'Electronic Jihad' fails to materialise

    Rumours that the Internet would witness a sustained and devastating cyber-attack by Islamic "cyber-terrorists" today have turned out to be completely baseless.

    The non-story kicked off earlier this week when Kaspersky Labs execs referred to reports on unspecified Arab websites that Islamic hackers had declared 26 August as a day of "electronic jihad" against Israel. The comments were picked up in the Russian media, resulting in a number of alarmist articles on the supposed threat. "Terrorists will paralyse the Internet on 26 August," reported MosMews.

    Vmyths editor Rob Rosenberger was quick to dismiss the reports as "baseless hysteria" pointing out that the latest prediction of cyber-apocalyse are nothing new. Previous "cyber-wars" have resulted in nothing beyond a few defaced websites. Rosenberger's predictions have been borne out by a notable absence of carnage of the information cyber-highway this morning.

    Meanwhile Kaspersky Labs is distancing itself from the story. It seems the Russian media put a sensationalist spin on off the cuff remarks by company founder Eugene Kaspersky.

    In a statement, it said: "Kaspersky Labs do not believe that anything serious will occur [on 26 August], although obviously it will be prepared accordingly. However, Kaspersky Labs is concerned of the use of the term 'electronic jihad' for the first time, implying that Arab hackers are thinking about a more aggressive attack." ®
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    Security experts have downplayed media reports that an 'electronic jihad' aimed at Israeli websites will start on Thursday.

    The reports came after the Russian news service RIA Novosti published comments made by Eugene Kaspersky, a noted antivirus researcher, saying that several websites had posted a call to arms for mass web defacements to occur on 26 August.

    Security researchers stressed that calls for internet attacks have become a staple of extremist sites and usually amount to little.

    Jose Nazario, attack researcher for security company Arbor Networks, said: "There has been a lot of occasions of people saying, 'hey, let's have a party and deface a lot of websites', and not much has come from it."

    According to Nazario, security researchers frequently see increased online activity when attack preparations have started. There are no indications that such preparations are happening now, Nazario said Wednesday. "We honestly haven't heard anything," he said. "There have been no precursors to a large-scale attack."

    Kaspersky's own company played down the portrayal of the statements of its founder on Wednesday. Antivirus-software maker Kaspersky Labs said the reports focused on what was otherwise "brief comments made yesterday at a press conference which was dedicated to cybercrime and the problems of spam."

    The antivirus researcher's rebuttal to the articles and criticism from security experts appeared on VirusList.com, a site owned by Kaspersky Labs.

    "We don't know who is behind these statements" calling for attack, Kaspersky said in the statement on VirusList.com. He stressed that the trustworthiness of the digital call to arms could not be established. "It's not the first time the term 'electronic jihad' has been used. We've seen this before, with the focus being on sending racist emails, and defacing and hacking Israeli websites."

    I wasn't holding my breath. If its going to happen... you're not even going to know it until it does happen. IMO its going to hit hard and fast... with little or no warning.

    I've been looking at logs and internet reports all day... and I saw nothing out of the ordinary...

    FUD... isn't it great!?
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  2. #2
    Interesting, looks like Kapersky almost had a bruise on its rep there thanks to the media. Ya know though, this relates to that theoretical thread I started a few weeks ago regarding the possibilities of attacking the Internet backbone. Curious stuff...

  3. #3
    Master-Jedi-Pimps0r & Moderator thehorse13's Avatar
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  4. #4
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
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    Jan 2002
    TH13: If you wern't worried... then I wasn't worried...

    When you get worried... thats when we all should worry...
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  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Umm.. and why is that? Ehh, don't answer that Anyways, yeah I found this to be a serious load of bull. And like you said phish, I doubt we'll recieve any warning when/if it actually does happen.
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  6. #6
    I expected the same Spyd, but at the same time, following the basic #1 rule of security -- assume nothing -- we have to keep our minds open to such a possibility, however unlikely it may be.

  7. #7
    AO Security for Non-Geeks tonybradley's Avatar
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    Aug 2002
    I assumed from the get-go the story was BS. I had more respect for Kaspersky than that and I am glad to find out it seems to be a mis-translation of a 3rd-hand report and not something they literally declared.

    I agree with Kaspersky's underlying assertion that there is no reason that a terrorist group- Islamic or otherwise- couldn't exploit any number of vulnerabilities in operating systems or other software and weaknesses in the critical infrastructure to initiate a "terrorist attack" against the Internet per se. All they have to do is read books like Black Ice and they will get all sorts of ideas for how to accomplish such an attack.

    In this case, I held back from even publishing anything on my site because I didn't want to add to the FUD. I eventually posted something this morning just to say "hey, in case any of you saw the headlines and were waiting for the power to go out or something- it ain't happening". I was slightly concerned that malicious hackers would capitalize on the notoriety generated by the FUD and wreak havoc today anyway, but that obviously didn't happen either.

  8. #8
    Well while all the action is taking place i'll be kicking it at a nince fancy Resort sipping some fine liquors, while perving on the Beach Bunny's..

    Anyhow, it all sounds as though it's just a whole bunch of talk. If they were gonna announce a date when they would to some sort of Cyer Terrisom act, and then the date comes and still the waters are clear, then i guess that they either couldn't get the show on the road, or maybe it was just a heap of tall talk to see how many people they could get paranoid..

    Either way defacing a few website's ain't gonna proove there cause one single bit. Damn they might get the title of "Skiddiot" But that's about all there gonna get..


  9. #9
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    Apr 2004
    Agian, there are defacments dedicated to religious or political standings all the time... but if it's done by a rag-head its "terrorism"? Gimme a break...

    They also mentioned a few things about the recent outbreaks of worms that propogated through buffer overflows... but let me get this straight, with the people who were arrested, it was well... how should I put this... same old-same old.

    However if the same thing was done done by a goat humping, pig worshiping, rag-head its "an attempt to paralyze the internet"... "an act of terrorism"? If you have anything bad to say about the US its "terrorism" also. Ever noticed that? Yet anything else is just "normal crime" if there is such a thing... WTF? Come on... thats just stupid.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Oct 2002
    A defacement is a defacement, IMO. The exceptions are politically motivated ones in which case it is for a particular side or cause. To call it terrorism or "terroristic".. well, I'll leave that for you to decide.
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