British MI6 replace bomb website with cupcake recipe

Summary:MI6 officers disrupted an online al-Qaeda 'magazine' by replacing bomb-making guides with recipes for non-exploding cupcakes.

British MI6 officers allegedly disrupted an online al-Qaeda 'magazine' by replacing key recipes for bomb-making with recipes for benign, non-exploding cupcakes.

An anonymous Whitehall source dropped the ball to a leading British newspaper, who said that GCHQ, the signals and intercepting agency, also helped with the hack.

The 67-page color PDF magazine which offered such features as, "How to Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom" was mostly scrambled.

Some of the code replaced, however, instead described a rather tasty cupcake recipe, originally sourced from Ellen Degeneres' website.

The sabotage, which is said to have taken place over a year ago, wanted to disrupt an English-speaking al-Qaeda supporting website.

U.S. intelligence is said to have attempted to disrupt the efforts of this website themselves, but were beaten to it by the British. This led to disputes between British and American intelligence services, which originally wanted to block the site, it was reported.

During the World War II effort, the British have been retrospectively known for their humorous tactics; once secret documents were declassified after the thirty year rule.

Operation Mincemeat, for example, only recently came to light, by fooling top Nazi officials with faked documents in a suitcase, handcuffed to a dead homeless man from London posing as a senior Army official.

British intelligence has a high proportion of younger people in employment, but stalled in the past few years.

In a bid to raise its profile amongst the younger generation, used Facebook as a recruitment tool, to entice the social network's majority demographic towards employment opportunities in the civil service.

While it is a lovely story for children to hear as they drift into their slumber, as a "secret" service, the UK Foreign Office declined to comment.

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Topics: Software Development, Browser

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Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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