"A U.S. Homeland Security Department unit issued an advisory about a potential attack on U.S. financial institutions' computers, a department spokeswoman said."
It's time for another official GlobalSecurity.Org Senior Fellow horselaugh. The wily toads of al Qaeda and company were successful at getting the knobs at Homeland Security to twist in time for the dinner newshour.
"The advisory stemmed from a posting on the Web site of a group called al-Firdaws urging an attack on financial institutions, said a Homeland Security Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity," bleated one wire report.
Anonymoids. Synonymous, in this case, with fruitcakes.
"Al-Firdaws is related to al- Qaeda, the Islamic radical group behind the Sept. 11 attacks, according to the Center for Nonproliferation Studies," continued the report.
"The Homeland Security official said that the Web site posting called for denial of service attacks against financial institution Web sites starting tomorrow . . . Such attacks may try to cripple a Web site with a flood of e-mails, for example.
"The al-Firdaws posting, which was translated by U.S. authorities, asked for people with computer skills to conduct the attacks on their own, the official said."
Ah, tomorrow is electronic Pearl Harbor Day?
Couldn't the jihadists have just waited until the 7th?
In any case, Dick Destiny owns the history of electronic Pearl Harbor and no one can say otherwise, as illustrated here.
The news continues a threat stream that's well over a decade old. For example, an excerpted news piece from 1999:
"Hacker Threatens To Leave Country In The Dark" was the headline of an un-bylined story issued by the Reuters news agency on Sept. 29:However, the al Qaeda cyberterror threat will never go down without a fight.
"A computer hacker has threatened to break into the computers of Belgian electricity generator Electrabel Wednesday afternoon and halt the power supply to the entire country," proclaimed the news service in a 500-word squib.
"Tomorrow I will leave Belgium without power, and that is not so difficult," an anonymous hacker crowed to a Belgian newspaper.
"Wednesday I will get into Electrabel's computers between 1:30 and 3:30 in the afternoon and shut down all the electricity."
The Belgian electric company, Electrabel, "said it was taking the threat seriously but felt that the hacker had little chance of succeeding."
No one in federal national security circles will ever be caught saying unanonymously that it's dealing in rubbish. Instead, the standard abundance of caution disclaimer is spotted, a little too obvious jargon for the more honest "CYA." "9/11 changed everything" -- another slogan -- is also a good stage prop.
And now DD will post humorous anecdotes and quotes on the jihadist cyberterror threat in order that readers might share in the GoodTimes. (Sorry, an inside cyberterror joke. An official DD No-Prize to you if you're old enough to remember the reference.)
First up, old colleague, Rob Rosenberger.
I stole the title Osama bin Virus off him for this piece and here is the original on Vmyths, where Rosenberger dealt with the subject with the level of expertise and and superciliousness it deserved years before al Qaeda showed up in the wires.
"I wish Osama bin Laden would try to destroy us with his laptop," wrote Rosenberger. "He'd fail miserably and then we'd all get to laugh at him."
At the foot of the page, please note one of Rosenberger's comedy albums, also entitled "Osama bin Virus," which is available through CafePress.Com. Infidel scum, you will die slowly!
And earlier in the year, one can read this story, "The Man Who Put al Qaeda on the Web."
It's about, feel free to laugh some more, a jihadist who named himself after James Bond. (At best, Rosa Klebb, buddy, Klebb -- or perhaps the little guy played by Tattoo who Roger Moore put in a suitcase and threw overboard in "The Man With the Golden Gun!")
In any case, anyone stupid enough to call themselves an iteration of 007 on the net puts themselves in with teenage hackers under aliases like The Archfiend. You would expect such a person, one who left a visible trail of low-level nuisance-making, to now be in jail. And that's exactly were he is, shaming the name of Bond in the process.
Anyway, DD was a source for this particular story.
The following encapsulates some of it. The rest of the article, at the end of the link, offers balance for those who feel every side must be considered out of, shall we say, an abundance of caution.
"Some have wondered if, by not immediately trying to shut down sites that post information about making bombs and poisons, authorities aren't taking a fatal risk in the name of acquiring intelligence about a bigger plan. Not to worry, says George Smith, a senior fellow at the public-policy and research organization GlobalSecurity.org. Smith dismisses the effectiveness of al-Qaeda's online training information. 'The level of sophistication is equivalent to what teenagers were distributing about 10 or 15 years ago,' he says.
"GlobalSecurity.org's Smith describes the general level of Internet security maintained by al-Qaeda as 'really lousy,' and says that its sites are routinely invaded by people within U.S. borders. [Another named law enforcement source went] so far as to call the online terrorists 'script-kiddies,' a derogatory term for inexperienced hackers who use programs developed by others. For example, he says, in trying to promote denial-of-service attacks, the jihadists have simply instructed sympathizers to 'download this tool and drop in an address.'"