Hacktivism: Pro-Islamic hacker groups joining forces globally
Mounting evidence indicates that individual hacker groups are coalescing and becoming interconnected through a common pro-Islamic agenda, reveals a digital crime research by the London-based mi2g Intelligence Unit. Each aggregate group is carrying out digital attacks under a common banner and has pooled expertise to pronounce judgment and forcibly broadcast political views, which are anti-Israel, anti-US/UK and anti-India.
These hacker alliances produce elaborate multimedia propaganda of their collective ideology, which combines several issues such as the Middle East conflict, the war on terrorism and the Kashmir standoff. Three main pro-Islamic and anti-US, Israel and India aggregate hacker groups have been mapped using mi2g’s database of Security Intelligence Products and Systems (SIPS).
First is the Unix Security Guards (USG), an anti-Israel alliance formed in early May 2002, which has been responsible for 87 overt digital attacks since. They consist of four member groups—Egyptian Fighter, rD, Inkubus and ShellCode. Egyptian Fighter was responsible for the largest number of digital attacks this year on Israeli sites, . USG and its members are collectively responsible for 161 overt digital attacks to date.
Second, the World’s Fantabulous Defacers (WFD), a Pakistani alliance of 12 member groups, which has overtly attacked 445 sites since November 2000 with messages opposing the Indian presence in Kashmir or the occupation of Palestine by Israel. In a recent anti-Israeli overt digital attack, WFD acknowledged 32 other hacker groups and individuals, many of them with anti-US/UK and anti-India agendas.
Third, the Anti-India Crew (AIC), a Pakistani alliance established in July 2001, which is also prolifically carrying out digital attacks with anti-India and anti-US/UK messages. AIC is responsible for 422 attacks to date, 77 of them on Indian (.in) sites, some of those in collaboration with WFD.
Both USG and AIC have become very active, carrying out a total of 111 overt digital attacks between them in May at the height of tensions between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. Sites attacked include those of universities and educational institutions, businesses, hotels and retailers.
“The most important lesson learnt from these events is the coming together of pro-Islamic groups to simultaneously participate in joint digital attacks on US/UK, Israeli and Indian targets. Historically, the US has been allied with Pakistan. It seems that recent political and cyberspace events are both pointing towards a closer alignment of interests in the near future between the US, India and Israel,” explained mi2g’s Chairman and CEO DK Matai.
Hacktivism has mirrored international political conflict since the late 1990s, with two key events being the NATO-Serbia and China-Taiwan conflicts in 1999. In 2002, this has been evident during the Israeli-Palestinian conflict when the Israeli army occupied Palestinian territories, both in the sudden explosion of overt digital attacks on Israeli sites and the heavy political content of the multimedia messages left.
mi2g SIPS database has information on over 6,000 hacker groups and maintains a record of over 60,000 individual hacking events. The SIPS intelligence citations include the 2002 Computer Security Institute (CSI)/Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Computer Security Issues and Trends Survey. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)