Monday, June 6, 2011
Brits hacked al-Qaeda magazine - replace explosive recipe with cupcake recipe
Molotov cocktails? More like mojito cupcakes. In a cyber-warfare operation, British spies successfully hacked al-Qaeda's English language magazine, Inspire, and replaced bombmaking instructions with a list of cupcakes. Victory has never tasted so sweet.
The magazine is published quarterly and distributed as a pdf file. But as a result of the British cyberattack, a page in last year's summer issue titled, "Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom," instead provided readers with "The Best Cupcakes in America," courtesy of the Ellen DeGeneres Show.
In addition, "pages 4 through 67 of the otherwise slick magazine, including the bomb-making instructions, were garbled," and "it took almost two weeks for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to post a corrected version," the Washington Post reports. A British government official confirmed the hack to the AP Friday, saying his country is, "increasingly using cybertools."
According to the Washington Post, the U.S. considered targeting the extremist publication, but the CIA opposed those efforts, fearing that such a hack could "expose sources and methods and disrupt an important source of intelligence."
British intelligence, on the other hand, decided to go forward with the cyber attack, sabotaging Inspire's launch issue and removing articles by Osama bin Laden himself. Following the terrorist leader's death, news of this attack was icing on the cupcake in the fight against al-Qaeda.
Posted by Steve Douglass at 8:37 AM