Feeds

Cyber-jihad fails to materialise

Bruce Willis stood down

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

A much hyped cyber-jihad by Islamist s'kiddie hackers on Western websites failed to materialise on Sunday.

The SANS Institute's Internet Storm Centre reports that 11 November passed off normally. So Bruce Willis, fresh from a cinematic outing battling cybergeddon in Die Hard 4pointless.0 can hang up his miraculous colour-changing singlet.

Rumours of the planned attack first surfaced in Israeli intelligence magazine DEBKAfile late last week. It reported that an Islamist website was calling on true believers to mount an attack on the forces of Western, Jewish, Israeli, Muslim apostate and Shiite Websites.

Rather than launching the supposed assault without notice and through a network of compromised machines, the Islamists are reportedly looking to rally recruits to download a package called Electronic Jihad Version 2.0. Instructions on how to use the malign version of Seti@Home for would-be cyber-jihadis will be made available across an impenetrable email network, the organisers of the effort reportedly claim.

Days later a revamped DIY DDoS package - dubbed Electronic Program of Jihad - surfaced online. Others tools also arrived on the scene.

Finnish anti-virus firm F-Secure downloaded one such a tool, a package called E-Jihad30.exe from a site named al-jinan.net (the site is now inactive).

"This tool creates a botnet using a server at jo-uf.net - a domain registered to Iraq," it reports. "However, we've been monitoring this server all day and its IP address continues to point to 127.0.0.1. So at least regarding this botnet, nothing's gonna happen."

It's not the first time rumours of a forthcoming cyber-jihad have surfaced. In December 2006, the US Department of Homeland Security warned banks and infrastructure firm of a possible electronic attack. Nothing much happened then either. The DHS might argue that the warning caused the attack to be aborted or defences to be put in place in time.

Rather than mass attacks that fail to materialise, the pattern of low-level attacks (often featuring web defacements) by Islamic hackers is real and has been ongoing for some time. Defacement activities tend to flare up when incidents like the depiction of the Prophet Mohammed by Danish newspapers hit the news, but they remain at a low level more or less constantly. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.