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"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, which monitors the group's communications.
The attack was carried out within the past few days by unknown hackers targeting al-Qaida's Internet communications systems. It was "well coordinated and involved the use of an unusual cocktail of relatively sophisticated techniques,"
British intelligence officers based at the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the state eavesdropping service, attacked the 67-page magazine, leaving most of it garbled, British newspapers said.
Instead of being able to read how to "Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom," readers were greeted with computer code which actually contained recipes from The Best Cupcakes in America, published by U.S. chat show host Ellen DeGeneres.
The Washington Post reported that the British action followed a dispute between the CIA and the newly formed U.S. Cyber Command.
The cyber unit had wanted to block the al Qaeda magazine but the CIA, which had countered such an attack would expose sources and intelligence methods, won the debate and declined to allow an attack on Inspire.
Originally posted by JiggyPotamus
My guess is that it was a permanent arm of a government organization, rather than civilian hackers. I think the infiltration was conducted by a technical branch of the CIA, some group composed of computer genius', a very small percentage of them being self-taught, who learned there skills in the virtual world, as opposed to the majority of the team who's basic skill set was learned through training, some in college and some through "government only" programs.
This is NOT the same scale of attack that was conducted by the British, who only changed content on their website, which leads me to believe it was not them this time. That "attack" was also a year ago.edit on 6/29/11 by JiggyPotamus because: (no reason given)