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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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