Information Warfare: September 26, 2001


The September 11 terrorist attacks may not have brought swift retaliation in terms of traditional military action. But there was a lot of information warfare operations. Websites associated with Islamic radicalism were attacked, usually just resulting in web pages being defaced. But perhaps the most damaging attack was an unusual one. In Germany, a hacker calling himself Anonyme Feigling ("Anonymous Coward") cracked into a server hosting a listserv (an email discussion group) supporting Islamic Holy War and terrorism. The 500 names on the mailing list were published. The hacker also alerted the police and revealed his real identity to them. No police action has been taken. One of the people on the mailing list were already being sought by the U.S. FBI. This sort of attack is unusual, as many listservs feel it is essential to keep the identities of participants secret in order to foster free discussion. But pro-terrorist (or other illegal action) listservs exist. American authorities were shutting down pro-terrorist web sites even before September 11th. 


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