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Unidentified computer hackers have attacked al-Qaida’s Internet presence, shutting down its ability to communicate to the rest of the world through video and text.  A number of their distribution channels have been shut down at the same time, in a sophisticated and well organised attack.

“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.”

This is not the first time that al-Quaida have been victims of online hacking, both from unidentified parties and government groups.  In one amusing story from earlier this month, the UK government were found to have hacked an al-Qaida website, Inspire, and inserted cupcake recipes in place of bomb making instructions.

The Inspire website is meant for English language readers, and is based in Yemen.  Instead of the intended page called “Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom,” readers were greeted with computer code which contained recipes from “The Best Cupcakes in America”, a book published by well known US chat show host Ellen DeGeneres.

However, in comparison, this latest attack does not focus on a single website, and there is not a single cupcake recipe in sight.  “My guess is that it will take them at least several days more to repair the damage and get their network up and functioning again,” said Kohlmann.

While no one has owned up to this latest attack, Kohlmann seems quite sure that it originates from government sources, saying it “once again appears to bear the telltale fingerprints of government-sponsored hackers.”

Source: GeekWithLaptop



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