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ICT Cyber-Desk Review: Report #3

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This report covers two main subjets: cyber-terrorism (offensive, defensive, and the media, and the main topics of jihadist discourse); and cyber-crime, whenever and wherever it is linked to jihad (funding, methods of attack). The following are among the issues covered in this report:

  • In a manifesto published by Al-Furqan in February, 2013, Sheikh Abu Sa’ad al-‘Amili, a prominent Salafi-jihadist, discusses possible causes for lulls in the activity of several prominent jihadist Web forums, and proposes ways to increase the forums’ activity.
  • The Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF) publishes a new encoding program, Asrar Al-Dardasha [The Secrets of Chatting], for use in communications among mujahideen.
  • Islamic legal scholar Abu Mundhir al-Shanqiti, the head of the Fatwa Committee of the Salafi-jihadist portal Minbar Al-Tawhid wal-Jihad, publishes a fatwa permitting hacking into US commercial Web sites, and offering a religious justification for cyber-attacks against the infidel.
  • Several Palestinian groups issue guidelines for hackers.
  • The international conglomerate of hackers known as “Anonymous” launches hostile cyber-operations against Israel, Palestine and Baluchistan – among other countries.
  • An Egyptian telecommunications undersea cable is sabotaged, disrupting Internet service in that country and highlighting growing threats to international Internet service.
  • The Web sites of AmericanExpress and other US financial institutions are hacked, temporarily disrupting their service.
  • The Cyber-Desk Team extensively reviews phishing as a tool of cyber-attack, as illustrated by an analysis of a watering hole attack on the ICT’s own Web site.
  • This Newsletter’s Case Study highlights a series of increasingly serious attacks on computer networks in South Korea, and compares the relative dangers of denial of service (DDoS) and “denial of computer” (DDoC) attacks.
  • In this issue, Guest Contributor Swapnil Kishore reviews governments’ use of “patriotic hackers” to counteract cyber crime.  

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