Last Tuesday, during or immediately after my appearance on Fox News Channel to discuss the Mohammed Cartoons, this blog was hit by a large, foreign-based denial of service attack. Last night, my hosting service notified me that it is receiving ongoing threats from individuals vowing to take down this site–and others along with it–which will presumably continue until I take down the cartoons. For now, we are on guard and continuing with business as usual. But you should know there’s something much wider and deeper going on:
I. Security Pro News reports on the latest Islamist hacker attacks spurred by Cartoon Jihad:
Muslum hackers continue their retaliatory assault on Danish websites over the political cartoons run in Danish newspapers last year and more recently in other European publications. As this story is being written, the number is up to 1819 Danish site alone and continues to rise.
The defaced sites contain messages aimed at various western folks carry a message attacking people who the hackers feel insult their religion of Islam. One site, beetlejuice.dk, was hacked by Iranian hackers calling themselves the Ashiyane Defacers Digital Security Team. This would seem to be a bit of self-promotion by the group. On this site, they left a message in different languages saying, “We are Muslims and We Cannot Let Anyone to Insult to Islam.” The Ashiyane team even sent a note to Zone-H to make sure they got credit to the appropriate hackers…
The attacks are coming from all over; last week, a Tampa, Fla.-based hosting company took down a hacking site that had targeted the Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper that originally published the 12 Mohammed Cartoons.
II. ISN notes the growth of the “virtual jihad community:”
The most recent demonstration of the efficiency, coordination, and ingenuity of the internet mujahideen is the uproar over the cartoons published by the Danish paper Jyllands-Posten depicting the Prophet Muhammad. This theme is currently conspicuous among all the electronic warfare sections of the jihadi forums, which have taken this as a cause célèbre. The al-Ghorabaa site coordinated a 24-hour attack on this and other newspaper sites and paraded its success on 2 February with the result.
Following this, the forum participants initiated discussion on how to broaden the campaign. This was aided by the death sentences on the cartoonist pronounced by radical sheikhs such as Nazim al-Misbah in Kuwait, reported on al-Arabiya television, and the report by the Lebanese daily al-Nahar that Usbat al-Ansar in the Ein Helweh refugee camp had called for “reviving the ‘tradition of slaughter”, and demanded that Osama bin Laden take vengeance (http://www.annahar.com). The threat, according to the pan-Arab daily al-Quds al-Arabi, has since been answered by the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades, which sent a declaration to the paper detailing how they had threatened Denmark with a “lasting war and a series of blessed raids” (http://www.alquds.co.uk).
Amid the controversy over the burning of the Danish and Norwegian embassies in Damascus and the burning of the Danish embassy in Beirut, al-Ghorabaa participants also called for a global “embassy-burning day” with Islamic youth called on to set fire to Danish embassies all over the world.
As a demonstration of the value of the web to the jihad, the day is to be coordinated by the following mobile phone message: “Urgent! Spread this; Resistance from the entire Islamic world before all Danish embassies in Muslim states, to protest against the publication of the pictures and to demand an apology; [demonstration to take place] on February 13, 2006. Participate and defend your Prophet!”
Confident that the scheme will receive wide acceptance, the posting then urged participants to distribute the message demand to all forums irrespective of their ideological line. “Let those who wish for a practical victory,” it details, “take a glass bottle filled with petrol and some cloth wadding […] remember to incite the crowds to storm the embassy, as happened in Indonesia.”
The outstanding question is law enforcement response to Islamist “hack-tivists” defacing or otherwise compromising non-critical websites. Again, considered in isolation, defacing a women’s motorcycle club website for a day or two is an aggravation but not a threat to society. Considered in aggregate, however, defacing and compromising thousands of webpages is a dangerous pattern, a sure sign of probes preliminary to a coordinated attack of potentially massive proportions.
Forewarned is forearmed.
IV. Finally, here’s a small sample of the threatening e-mail that has come in:
From: naser jianpour (email@example.com)
Date: Feb 10, 2006 12:04 PM
Subject: we will kill you
I am Iranian I am a mosleme .
We will kill you( every )
down with you( Crectian & jowe.)
world is mine.
From: monalisa monalisa (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Feb 4, 2006 5:55 PM
Subject: you are filth
the dishonourable the mean the prostitute I’am a müslim and turkish I kill
you devil you are goto the hell shit the whore
From: email@example.com (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Feb 11, 2006 9:41 PM
you have one day to delete all pictures of mohammed from your server, or i hack this site and delete all files on this server. ok
mohammed have never a face. dou you now.
for ever islam
Update: Andrew Cochran nails it:
This escalation in the cyberwar is an intentional attack to deny our Constitutional right to free speech and expression, and it warrants a response by the entire tech and internet community and the federal government.
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I have been seriously targetted too. Had a DDOS attack from Turkey. Just in the last hour I’ve been reverse-spammed with dozens of viruses from these email domain addresses:
Looks like they’re coming from Syria, Turkey, Britain and India today (all countries with large populations of Muslims).
Every day the attacks come from new countries: Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Jordan, UAE, etc.
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