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Old 04-19-2007   #1
marct
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Default Has an Organized Campaign to Shut Down Islamist Websites Begun?

From The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI)

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Special Dispatch-Jihad & Terrorism Studies Project
April 20, 2007
No. 1552

Has an Organized Campaign to Shut Down Islamist Websites Begun? Islamist Forums Claim It Has

To view this Special Dispatch in HTML, visit:
http://www.memri.org/bin/opener_latest.cgi?ID=SD155207 .

In the past weeks, several rumors have been spread over Islamist websites about Western intelligence agencies' intention to shut down Islamist forums. As one Islamist put it, "We are all aware of the Zionist-Crusader campaign that has been launched against the Islamist websites... The most recent [manifestation of this campaign] is... the effort of American intelligence to completely eliminate websites that distribute communiqués [by the mujahideen] and films [documenting] attacks of the Iraqi resistance, or which encourage so-called terrorism.... As part of this campaign, [the Americans are also] threatening TV networks that broadcast videos [documenting] attacks... or that report on [Coalition] casualties not reported by the U.S. military."(1) Islamist forums reacting to the recent disabling of one Islamist website and one Islamist forum claim that these are two manifestations of a single united U.S. campaign against Islamists.
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Old 04-19-2007   #2
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I haven't seen any sign of that. If you troll the deeper currents of the Internet there is some polarization between whack em's and help em's.

The sample of one and one is a bit of stretch to apply to a larger population.
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Old 04-19-2007   #3
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Hi Selil,

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Originally Posted by selil View Post
I haven't seen any sign of that. If you troll the deeper currents of the Internet there is some polarization between whack em's and help em's.

The sample of one and one is a bit of stretch to apply to a larger population.
Oh I agree that the sample size is terrible. Still, it may be indicative of a shift in perception that may drive some of these boards into more hidden zones.

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Old 04-20-2007   #4
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I would be surprised if kiddiescript hackers have not crashed more than one of these sites. They love a challenge. Especially, one that will probably not have any repercussions.
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Old 04-20-2007   #5
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"Especially, one that will probably not have any repercussions." (-luv that , I truly do)
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Old 04-23-2007   #6
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The problem is the Internet itself. I can post on this forum using a server in Vietnam and my IP would indicate such. It would be difficult to subpoena an Internet provider, government, or company server in Vietnam and places like that. Heck, hackers love using servers in the Middle East for the same reason. You can bring down a site, and I'm sure that is going on both on and off the record as well as with kiddiescripters but they can get their sites back up in no time at all. What was once just a group of universities connected together has gotten way out of control. The Internet has taken on a life of its own. It doesn't really change much except it increases the pace. The place for espionage and propaganda at light speed. I'm afraid because of this pace that desperate measures may be in store. Time, not impatience, will be a factor in decision making. Lets just hope it doesn't come down to having to turn an entire region into a sheet of glass. The next leaders may have to be of the Curtis LeMay variety. Not by choice or because we are getting impatient but because time itself is a factor. I'm sure we are looking at what happened to Japan. From a vicious and discriminating empire to a culture and nation that tries its best not to fire a shot in anger. In the end, the opportunity cost was worth the decision to speed up the clock for the end of that war during that time and place. It created other problems later but solved the problem of Japan.
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Old 07-24-2007   #7
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Default DOD Takes Aim at Jihadist Web Sites

23 July Federal Computer Week - DOD Takes Aim at Jihadist Web Sites by Sebastian Sprenger.

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Pentagon officials may be mum publicly about efforts to halt the spread of jihadist Web sites, but military and other intelligence agency officials say privately they are trying to limit the online recruiting and information dissemination efforts of militant Islamist groups.

A spokeswoman for the new Air Force Cyberspace Command declined to say whether the issue is on the command's agenda, but Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne seems to be looking to the command for solutions. "The pervasive nature of pro-jihad Web sites represents a tangible and highly visible example of how our adversaries use elements of cyberspace against us," he wrote in an article for the spring 2007 issue of the service publication Air & Space Power Journal.

Web sites aimed at attracting new generations of Islamic militants have multiplied steadily in recent years, and their number is now estimated to be in the thousands. Although tech-savvy extremists are known to attack Western computer networks through hacking and other means, many experts consider the silent spread of easy-to-set-up anti-American propaganda Web sites more dangerous because the military finds it difficult to stop...
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Old 07-25-2007   #8
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Default Well....

Would it really be better, from an IO and IC perspective, to drive these sites into less visible formats than open websites? We can barely catch the most significant variables of the material out there now.

A smarter option would be slick psuedo-jihadi of our own to spread disinformation, fratricidal factional strife, intra-jurisprudential controversies and so on and network-maap the traffic.
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Old 07-25-2007   #9
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Zenpundit,

I still owe you that coffee...

On topic we (google, yahoo, dogpile, etc.) can see about thirty percent of the Internet (optimistically). Darknet for example on SWC is the area that the registered users, admins, and selected individuals have access to. Darknet is the other side and is where a lot of the coordination, training, and planning activities of the adversary are likely occurring. This can happen on forums, wiki's, IRC, and p2p networks. Like a periscope breaking the surface the recruiting efforts and open Jihadist websites portend much more danger below the surface that their targets may not see.

The openly communicating enemy of the state may expose substantial and influential information simply by the volume of what they are saying. Driving them to ground will only piss them off, and result in little if any security.
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Old 07-25-2007   #10
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Do not forget about Deep Web.

I stumble onto many "questionable websites", and I only do it for a hobby.

Not sure where the Army is going with this, but even if you do find the websites, what next? And something Army may not think of and I am sure the XXX would beg to differ (another one of those turf struggles) on just which sites get shut down or monitored.

TAKES AIM They just keep hopping onto another IP address.

I would compare this to tossing one of those ping pong balls at those fish bowls at a county fair. Darn thing bounces around all over the place until it either goes off table or lands in bowl. After a couple dozen balls when you do land one in the bowl, they don't give you that one, they grab some fish in totally different tank and slaps it in a plastic bag and hands it off to you, and now your like, Now what?


Deep Web Research Resources and Sites

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A Subject Tracer™ Information Blog developed and created by Internet expert, author, keynote speaker and consultant Marcus P. Zillman, M.S., A.M.H.A. for monitoring deep web research resources and sites on the Internet.
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Old 07-25-2007   #11
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Hi Selil,

Quote:
Originally Posted by selil View Post
The openly communicating enemy of the state may expose substantial and influential information simply by the volume of what they are saying. Driving them to ground will only piss them off, and result in little if any security.
There are a couple of other implications as well. First, these sites can be used to track narrative changes as they emerge and, in some ways, are a fantastic source of predictive intel. Second, the legalities of attacking these sites are interesting. Certainly if they are located on servers in the US they can be shut down - at least for the n2 seconds it takes for the mirror in some other country to pen up . What if they are in Finland or Kenya or Nigeria?

Personally, I don't care if thy are PO'd - "bad cess" to them as my grandmother would say. I would far rather use their own necessities against them in a proactive way.

Marc
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Old 08-25-2007   #12
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Actually I think the FBI likes to keep some of them up so as to monitor them. A bit hard on those who visit just for curiosities sake(Hey, I've done it once or twice myself), but of course they can probably sort those out from regulars.
All this sounds like a great spy movie. Have someone who has a personal crusade to squish terrorist websites. And Someone Finds Out...
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Old 10-30-2007   #13
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Default Al Qaeda declares Cyber Jihad on the West

DEBKAfile Exclusive: Al Qaeda declares Cyber Jihad on the West

October 30, 2007, 5:36 PM (GMT+02:00)
Symbol of al Qaeda's new Cyper Jihad

Symbol of al Qaeda's new Cyper Jihad

In a special Internet announcement in Arabic, picked up DEBKAfile’s counter-terror sources, Osama bin Laden’s followers announced Monday, Oct. 29, the launching of Electronic Jihad. On Sunday, Nov. 11, al Qaeda’s electronic experts will start attacking Western, Jewish, Israeli, Muslim apostate and Shiite Web sites. On Day One, they will test their skills against 15 targeted sites expand the operation from day to day thereafter until hundreds of thousands of Islamist hackers are in action against untold numbers of anti-Muslim sites.

DEBKAfile’s counter-terror sources report that, shortly after the first announcement, some of al Qaeda’s own Web sites went blank, apparently crashed by the American intelligence computer experts tracking them.

The next day, Oct. 30, they were up again, claiming their Islamic fire walls were proof against infidel assault.

They also boasted an impenetrable e-mail network for volunteers wishing to join up with the cyber jihad to contact and receive instructions undetected by the security agencies in their respective countries.

Our sources say the instructions come in simple language and are organized in sections according to target. They offer would-be martyrs, who for one reason or another are unable to fight in the field, to fulfill their jihad obligations on the Net. These armchair martyrs are assured of the same thrill and sense of elation as a jihadi on the “battlefield.”

In effect, say DEBKAfile’s counter-terror experts, al Qaeda is retaliating against Western intelligence agencies’ tactics, which detect new terrorist sites and zap them as soon as they appear. Until now, the jihadists kept dodging the assault by throwing up dozens of new sites simultaneously. This kept the trackers busy and ensured that some of the sites survived, while empty pages were promptly replaced. But as al Qaeda’s cyber wizards got better at keeping its presence on the Net for longer periods, so too did Western counter-attackers at knocking them down. Now Bin Laden’s cyber legions are fighting back. The electronic war they have declared could cause considerable trouble on the world’s Internet.
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Old 10-30-2007   #14
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Default Bound to Happen

I have always believed that a cyber war was bound to happen, and there is no reason, given the capabilities of Western computer analysts and code writers, that the West should not be victorious in this, regardless of how long it takes. I would like to know more about this, but I suspect it is all highly classified.

However, just a word about DEBKAfile. I would not trust this source. I would only be mildly surprised for them to announce that little green men had landed from space and allied themselves with Hezbollah, making them technologically superior now to Israel and the U.S.

Literally. Their predictions and "scoops" have proven to be wrong and exaggerated too many times for me to take them seriously any more.

HPS
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Old 11-01-2007   #15
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Default Would have to agree with you, Danny

Estonia's geeks pointed me to this article among others.

Quote:
Security experts are saying that a reported al-Qaeda cyber jihad attack planned against Western institutions should be treated with skepticism.

Such an attack could be launched with a known software kit, called Electronic Jihad Version 2.0, said Paul Henry, vice president of technology evangelism with Secure Computing. This software, which has been in circulation for about three years, has recently become more easily configurable so that it could be more effective in a distributed denial of service attack, such as the one suggested by the DEBKAfile report.

Attackers would download Jihad 2.0 to their own desktops and specify the amount of bandwidth they would like to consume, not unlike the SETI@home software package used to scan for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence.

However, Henry said that his law enforcement contacts are treating the report with some skepticism. "I talked to a few people today who know of DEBKAfile, who feel they are dubious, but they can be credible," he said. "I'm not looking at Nov. 11 as being the day that the Internet goes down."
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Old 11-12-2007   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan View Post
Estonia's geeks pointed me to this article among others.
Regardless of DebkaFile's dubious reputation, the fact remains that cyberwarfare is not only a reality, but that it's been a warfighting domain for DOD for at least a year; that the USAF is actively engaged in R&D related to it; and that we (meaning the U.S.) are quite vulnerable to such an attack, and even worse, have no recovery plan in place in the event of wide-spread Internet failure.

I've written on this subject at the following links:

http://idolator.typepad.com/intelfus...ke-fema-i.html
http://idolator.typepad.com/intelfus...ld-west-o.html
http://analysis.threatswatch.org/2007/06/terror-web-20/
http://www.esecurityplanet.com/preve...le.php/3694711
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Old 11-12-2007   #17
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This has been a realm of concern since the 1970's. The first computer warfare activities were in the 1980's. In the mid 1990's substantial cyber attacks occurred. The question is of scope and what you consider to be "cyber" and to be an "attack".

If you want to have this discussion about real capability this is likely not the forum for it.
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Last edited by selil; 11-12-2007 at 02:47 AM.
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Old 11-12-2007   #18
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I actually hope that this report is completely true. Our geeks are nerdier, better funded, more organized, better equipped, and far more experienced than theirs. Not to be too overconfident, but this fight, if it occurs, will be about as lopsided as the Titanic versus the iceburg.
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Old 11-12-2007   #19
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And this just released.

Interesting article on trojan horses being installed on drives being targeted to government agencies. This is going to fuel the no foreign equipment purchased for government like the IBM debacle.

Quote:
Bureau warns on tainted discs
FOCUSED ATTACK: Large-capacity hard disks often used by government agencies were found to contain Trojan horse viruses, Investigation Bureau officials warned
By Yang Kuo-wen, Lin Ching-chuan and Rich Chang
STAFF REPORTERS
Sunday, Nov 11, 2007, Page 2

Portable hard discs sold locally and produced by US disk-drive manufacturer Seagate Technology have been found to carry Trojan horse viruses that automatically upload to Beijing Web sites anything the computer user saves on the hard disc, the Investigation Bureau said.

Around 1,800 of the portable Maxtor hard discs, produced in Thailand, carried two Trojan horse viruses: autorun.inf and ghost.pif, the bureau under the Ministry of Justice said.

The tainted portable hard disc uploads any information saved on the computer automatically and without the owner's knowledge to www.nice8.OBSCURED (.org) and www.we168.OBSCURED (.org), the bureau said.

The affected hard discs are Maxtor Basics 500G discs.

The bureau said that hard discs with such a large capacity are usually used by government agencies to store databases and other information.

Sensitive information may have already been intercepted by Beijing through the two Web sites, the bureau said.

The bureau said that the method of attack was unusual, adding that it suspected Chinese authorities were involved.

In recent years, the Chinese government has run an aggressive spying program relying on information technology and the Internet, the bureau said.

The bureau said this was the first time it had found that Trojan horse viruses had been placed on hard discs before they even reach the market.

The bureau said that it had instructed the product's Taiwanese distributor, Xander International, to remove the products from shelves immediately.

The bureau said that it first received complaints from consumers last month, saying they had detected Trojan horse viruses on brand new hard discs purchased in Taiwan.

Agents began examining hard discs on the market and found the viruses linked to the two Web sites.

Anyone who has purchased this kind of hard disc should return it to the place of purchase, the bureau said.

The distributor told the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times' sister newspaper) that the company had sold 1,800 tainted discs to stores last month.

It said it had pulled 1,500 discs from shelves, while the remaining 300 had been sold by the stores to consumers.

Seagate's Asian Pacific branch said it was looking into the matter.
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Old 11-12-2007   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by selil View Post
This has been a realm of concern since the 1970's. The first computer warfare activities were in the 1980's. In the mid 1990's substantial cyber attacks occurred. The question is of scope and what you consider to be "cyber" and to be an "attack".

If you want to have this discussion about real capability this is likely not the forum for it.
What forum do you recommend?
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