Hackers target and cripple al-Qaida communications

Summary:Maybe hacktivists can have a real cause after all. Instead of targeting corporations this time, hackers have gone after the most infamous terrorist network of them all: al-Qaida.

Maybe hacktivists can have a real cause that we can all get behind after all. Instead of targeting corporations this time, hackers have gone after the most infamous terrorist network of them all: al-Qaida.

It's not exactly clear just yet as to which group of hackers is responsible for this cyber-attack, whether it be the more well-known players as of late (Anonymous or Lulz Security) or even another group altogether. However, there is speculation that this infiltration could be the work of government-sponsored hackers.

Nevertheless, whomever is responsible managed to "shut down al-Qaida's ability to communicate its messages to the world through the Internet," according to NBC News. Al-Qaida's communications network is only expected to be down for a short time, although the damage could last for several days.

Hack attacks have grown exponentially this year (at least in attention), and most of them have been targeted towards large, global enterprises dedicated to banking and technology, such as Citigroup, Sega and, most notably, Sony. Other security breaches have incurred upon the United States Senate, the CIA and other government websites around the world.

This isn't the first time hackers have messed with al-Qaida, and it's not even just random people on the Internet who have subverted the group online. For example, just earlier this month, British intelligence agency MI6 replaced a site sponsored by al-Qaida dedicated to bomb making instructions with a cupcake recipe from beloved American personality Ellen DeGeneres' website.

Related:

Topics: Security

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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