Countdown to Cyber Holy War?

DebkaFile, the Israel-based military intelligence website, is reporting that they intercepted Arabic language website announcements on Monday declaring an imminent "cyber jihad on the west," and warns that:
"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."
According to Tuesday's alert, counter-terrorism sources reported that the first announcement was followed by an apparent crash of some of al Qaeda's websites, which were thought to have been brought down by American intelligence cyber-operatives.  The sites were back online the following day, however, "claiming their Islamic fire walls were proof against infidel assault," and attempting to recruit would-be "virtual martyrs" to join in the electronic reprisal.

Debka's piece wraps up with:
"The electronic war they have declared could cause considerable trouble on the world's Internet"
If this represents a legitimate threat (while often right on the money, some of Debka's reports have proven to be bogus in the past) then to call their conclusion understated would certainly be an understatement  -- so much so that I'm forced to wonder whether its true payoff was somehow lost in its Hebrew to English translation.

After all, while this supposed impending exchange represents a clash over information dissemination sites only, it may, in fact, signify the opening battle in a much larger declared war.  In that case, al Qaeda's hacking abilities may now be much greater than previously imagined. If so, future conflicts might well include attacks against financial, power (including nuclear), transportation, hospital, communication and military networks, just to name a few perchance vulnerable targets. 

And cyber-terrorism is by no means limited to the disabling of the enemy's systems and defenses through malware the likes of viruses, worms and Trojans.   Potential physical targets can be easily assessed for weaknesses by surveying them quite accurately through compromised information networks.

In other words, this is serious stuff.

As such, should this menace described by Debka turn out to be anything less than legitimately assessed by their "experts," then I dare say that their less-than-stellar reputation for accuracy may soon enormously overshadow their knack for delivering cutting-edge, real-time and often exclusive Middle East military news.

Frankly, while I don't cherish either eventuality, I am, needless to say, rooting for the latter.

I guess the next 10 days will tell.  Stay tuned.
DebkaFile, the Israel-based military intelligence website, is reporting that they intercepted Arabic language website announcements on Monday declaring an imminent "cyber jihad on the west," and warns that:
"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."
According to Tuesday's alert, counter-terrorism sources reported that the first announcement was followed by an apparent crash of some of al Qaeda's websites, which were thought to have been brought down by American intelligence cyber-operatives.  The sites were back online the following day, however, "claiming their Islamic fire walls were proof against infidel assault," and attempting to recruit would-be "virtual martyrs" to join in the electronic reprisal.

Debka's piece wraps up with:
"The electronic war they have declared could cause considerable trouble on the world's Internet"
If this represents a legitimate threat (while often right on the money, some of Debka's reports have proven to be bogus in the past) then to call their conclusion understated would certainly be an understatement  -- so much so that I'm forced to wonder whether its true payoff was somehow lost in its Hebrew to English translation.

After all, while this supposed impending exchange represents a clash over information dissemination sites only, it may, in fact, signify the opening battle in a much larger declared war.  In that case, al Qaeda's hacking abilities may now be much greater than previously imagined. If so, future conflicts might well include attacks against financial, power (including nuclear), transportation, hospital, communication and military networks, just to name a few perchance vulnerable targets. 

And cyber-terrorism is by no means limited to the disabling of the enemy's systems and defenses through malware the likes of viruses, worms and Trojans.   Potential physical targets can be easily assessed for weaknesses by surveying them quite accurately through compromised information networks.

In other words, this is serious stuff.

As such, should this menace described by Debka turn out to be anything less than legitimately assessed by their "experts," then I dare say that their less-than-stellar reputation for accuracy may soon enormously overshadow their knack for delivering cutting-edge, real-time and often exclusive Middle East military news.

Frankly, while I don't cherish either eventuality, I am, needless to say, rooting for the latter.

I guess the next 10 days will tell.  Stay tuned.