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Cyber-Terrorists Attacking U.S. Banks Are Well-Funded 83

Posted by Soulskill
from the bankrolled-by-interested-parties dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A DDoS attack targeting American Express on March 28th was just one in a series of incidents by self-proclaimed 'cyber-fighters' over the past few weeks. Beyond that, it's part of a much longer campaign to disrupt financial infrastructure using attacks over the internet. Ars details the group behind the most recent attacks, called 'the cyber-fighters of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam.' From the article: 'Named after a Muslim cleric who led The Black Hand, an anti-British and anti-Zionist jihadist organization in the 1920s and 1930s, and sharing a name with the military wing of Hamas (which the group's statements claim it is tied to), Izz ad-Din al-Qassam has taken credit for a variety of attacks on U.S. financial institutions over the past year, all allegedly in protest against the posting of trailers for the film The Innocence of Muslims on YouTube. Until the film is removed, the group said it would target "properties of American-Zionist CapitalistsThis attack will continue till the Erasing of that nasty movie." [sic]' There are concerns that the group is providing cover for organizations looking to defraud those banks. 'But even if the group behind the attacks isn't profiting from them, [Arbor Networks' Dan Holden] said it's clear that there are very real investments being made in their activities—maybe not in servers or hard assets, but in the form of countless hours of maintenance of the botnet by finding new servers to exploit, and further development of attacks. "Regardless of who's behind this," Holden said, "it has to be funded at some level. Even if it's hacktivists, it's got to be funded hacktivism." That, he says, is because of both the amount of time dedicated to the attack, and to its ongoing refinement. "It's not that these are the most sophisticated things in the world," he explained, "but it has been getting more sophisticated, and it's growing."'"
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Cyber-Terrorists Attacking U.S. Banks Are Well-Funded

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 30, 2013 @11:56AM (#43318559)

    No, Seriously: Fuck that noise.

    It's either cyber-criminal or hacktivist. There is no such thing as a cyber-terrorist. Normal terrorists can even use the interwebs to cause loss of life, but if it causes loss of life it is just terrorism by any other means.

    As someone who believes terrorism should be treated as a serious subject matter, I find these petty attempts to cash in on the DHS cash-cow absolutely disgusting. Anti-terrorism is better funded than normal law enforcement so now every cop walking the beat wants to redefine their job title to include hunting parking-terrorists, and speeding-terrorists.

    It's retarded, and it poses a threat to the 8th amendment.

    • by MrNaz (730548) on Saturday March 30, 2013 @12:01PM (#43318581) Homepage

      Stop being level-headed. You're ruining the opportunity for rich people to declare war on something.

    • by buchner.johannes (1139593) on Saturday March 30, 2013 @01:15PM (#43319047) Homepage Journal

      Terrorism is the act of inducing fear into a society, to the point that individuals don't feel safe anymore.

      You can, online, destroy the trust of people into banks, stalling any transactions because of fear/uncertainty. Without the loss of life.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Terrorism is the act of inducing fear into a society, to the point that individuals don't feel safe anymore.

        Which of course makes the most powerful terrorist organization in the world the US Government, which is happily facilitated by the media.

      • by http (589131)
        Uh, wait. +5? Here's a hint, mods: buy a dictionary if your OS doesn't come with one installed. Read it more than one minute per week, and not just for words you have not seen before. buchner.johannes, nice troll. It is factually incorrect, but looks plausible, so you get double points.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          Though useful one should not limit their perceptions of the meaning of words merely by what is in the dictionary. Words are ever changing and oft used in multiple ways. One can be extremely educated and skilled in their use but still appreciate an insightful comment by the village idiot, unless of course one's views are prejudiced in too great a manner towards the person or their choice and application of words.

          There is neither an academic nor an international legal consensus regarding the definition of th [wikipedia.org]

      • Terrorism is the act of inducing fear into a society, to the point that individuals don't feel safe anymore.

        You can, online, destroy the trust of people into banks, stalling any transactions because of fear/uncertainty. Without the loss of life.

        Bullshit. Terrorism specifically involves violent acts towards civilians or military groups not currently involved in a war. Normally killing them in visible and public ways such as bombings.

        Cyber-terrorism can be perfectly reasonably defined; things like: taking over train control systems and inducing the trains to crash into each other; opening dam flood gates and killing people; reprogramming medical systems to kill patients etc. etc.

        People losing trust in banks which get broken into is called "

      • by Weezul (52464)

        So the US DOJ is a terrorist organization because they intimidate suspects? Heck they're at least using the threat of violence.

        Actually, you're claim doesn't make anywhere near that much sense. Fear is not lose of confidence.

        You lose almost all credibility when you apply the word terrorist to any non-violent activity. If you want to keep that credibility, you should either work around using the word terrorism by saying stuff like "confidence" or else try to invent some phrase like non-violent terrorism th

      • by chrismcb (983081)

        You can, online, destroy the trust of people into banks, stalling any transactions because of fear/uncertainty. Without the loss of life.

        So wouldn't most spam and phishing attacks be called "cyber-terrorism?" Oh it isn't.... What about run of the mill bank robbers? Why is an "attack" that most people don't even know it exists, be cyber-terrorist? Ohh because it isn't.
        They are a bunch of thieves. Plain and simple.

    • by fustakrakich (1673220) on Saturday March 30, 2013 @02:41PM (#43319523) Journal

      WTF is a Cyber Terrorist?

      It's the working title of our next Hollywood blockbuster, along the lines of Argo and Zero Dark Thirty. Propaganda at its very best. You just can't argue with success.

  • Suckers! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Saturday March 30, 2013 @11:58AM (#43318567) Journal

    Clearly these 'terrorists', however adequate their funding, are a bunch of amateurs.

    As the recent history of the US(and more recently EU) banking sectors has demonstrated, the best way to disrupt financial infrastructure is to operate it. Plus, politicians will fight like dogs to see who can bail you out more generously, and you'll walk away with a fat bonus and no legal consequences!

    • by russotto (537200)

      Actually, that would be a great way to fund a terrorist organization: rig the standards for loans so that even horribly bad loans get approved (if it's an automated system, this is where the "cyber" comes in). Then you set up shell companies to "borrow" money. Not only are you funding your organization, if you co-ordinate the defaults you bring down the financial system as well.

  • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Saturday March 30, 2013 @12:00PM (#43318575) Homepage Journal

    Pull the other one. It's got BELLS on it.

    This is a pure propaganda allegation. Unsourced, with out validation. Hamas? Gimme a break.

    Wait for the shoe to drop, with additional restrictive and obtrusive laws on Internet users.

    Even the "underwear bomber" has now been positively outed as a US "intelligence" operation. [theatlanticwire.com] Not that anyone is noticing that little story.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      "Pull the other one. It's got BELLS on it."

      Black hand, this is racist shit. I don't want a black hand in my white cheese.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Even the "underwear bomber" has now been positively outed as a US "intelligence" operation. [theatlanticwire.com] Not that anyone is noticing that little story.

      The article to which you linked is about a separate incident (in 2012) from the original underwear bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was not a CIA spy and very much intended to cause harm (in 2009).

    • The Underwear Bomber? this guy? [wikipedia.org] Why is he still in prison?

    • by Psyborgue (699890)
      I think you are confusing the two underwear bombers. The second was an agent. He volunteered so the plot would be stopped and handed the bomb over. What was the CIA supposed to do? Out one of their agents? Now I don't trust the government and agree airport security is nuts, but that doesn't mean there aren't constant plots to kill Americans.
      • "Believe us. Now that you caught us, we only ran the ONE fake-terror op. We aren't involved in manufacturing the others, and we have a professional code of ethics against lying."

        • by Psyborgue (699890)
          But it wasn't a fake terror op. As I see it, an undercover agent foiled a plot by volunteering and then surrendering. Nobody was "caught" other than in the sense an undercover operative was recklessly outed by the NYT. This was not a "false flag" attack or anything of the sort. Had an intelligence operative not volunteered, there would have been an actual terror attack, as there was just two years prior in 2009 that very nearly resulted in loss of life. As a result of what the agent did, lives were sav
    • When he learned of a newly-designed explosive device meant to be pass undetected through airport security to take down a U.S.-bound airliner, the informant volunteered for the mission and was given the device, which he then handed over to U.S. officials.

      The underwear bomber in the article that you linked was NEVER a bomber or terrorist to begin with. He was an informant. The bomb was NOT a plot to sow the seeds of terror amongst the general public, it was the delivery of intelligence.

      Is this "underwear bomber" the same one that was actually trying to blow up an airplane on its way from Amsterdam to America? What the fuck?

  • by neoshroom (324937) on Saturday March 30, 2013 @12:21PM (#43318693)
    Please never again use the word "cyber-terrorist" in any function. It is way too easy to turn that word into "anything someone does on the internet that you are scared of" and the internet is not always well understood by political classes and established interests. It is a word which too easily invites disastrous misinterpretation (e.g. Aaron Swartz-like situations).
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I believe it's fair to use cyber-terrorist to describe someone who commits a terrorist attack via the internet. So if they preform an attack with the intent and result of killing a large number of people via the failure or destruction of a critical infrastructure system, then I believe that qualifies as a cyber-terrorist.

      But DDoSing random things hardly qualifies.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      Given the stated motivation of the perpetrators would "cyber-jihadi" be more accurate?

      It shows clearly what is motivating the attackers (a desire to impose Sharia on the web - no criticism of Islam allowed, even if completely true) and it excludes those who merely are using the internet in a way the Government doesn't like (since they are not jihadis).

      Note: The movie "Innocence of Muslims" is mostly factually correct - according to *Islamic* scriptures. It may have shitty production values, but it does

      • by romons (2767081)

        Given the stated motivation of the perpetrators would "cyber-jihadi" be more accurate?

        It shows clearly what is motivating the attackers (a desire to impose Sharia on the web - no criticism of Islam allowed, even if completely true) and it excludes those who merely are using the internet in a way the Government doesn't like (since they are not jihadis).

        You are saying that the movie they are trying to supress is true? News to me...

        This is probably a misguided effort by some young hackers, perhaps paid for by a rich Saudi. It is not terrorism unless you are terrified by it.

        • You are saying that the movie they are trying to supress is true? News to me...

          Yes, the "Innocence of Muslims" movie has crap production values but it is more accurate to the Islamic texts than most Hollywood movies are to even recent historical events. The reason that Hollywood doesn't get its facts straight is the same reason news reports with a bias and your elites lied to you about the assault on the embassy in Benghazi and have don't their damnedest to keep you from hearing more about it or thinking about it (the media covered with lots of distractions at the time). The reason is

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Even before the 1890's, banks have been hold the world hostage.
    If you have money in the bank, you ARE supporting the terrorists.
    If you are using a credit card, you ARE supporting the terrorists.
    But for those of you who say they can't live without banking services,
    just ignore this message.
    For those of you who dare not believe that your ever so loving bank
    could or would ever harm you,
    ignore this message.
    Just keep working till you die...

  • Who's to say these criminals (the Jihadis, not the banksters in this instance) are working for who they believe themselves to be? They could be working on the payroll of banksters or some shadowy government agency who want to create a 'reason' to pass legislation they can't pass without a tradegy taking place first...
  • People in the business of robbing banks have lots of money? You don't say! I wonder where they got it all from?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Obviously it's "well funded" because it take billions of dollars for a bored schoolkid to leave LOIC running on his computer all day.

    LOL.

    • by helobugz (2849599)

      Don't forget the exorbitant costs of shelter, food, electricity/internet for a handful of non-employed cyber-savvy jihadist militants with nothing but boredom and vengeance on their minds. In an Islamic setting, a few $ can buy a lot of hacking time. In western cultures, I don't know about all ya'll, but I have to work full-time, and dedicating myself exclusively to crafting new attacks would indeed take $$$$$$..

    • by kmoser (1469707)
      Some people will do anything for the lulz.
  • No hacker worth their salt would use that word. In fact - I've only ever heard that word being put to use in three places - the first is obvious for anyone who used a chat room in the late 90's.. the remaining two? Hollywood and the media - coincidence? It's not about who is losing out - it's about who really gains.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why do these scare-mongering articles always seem to quote people who have a vested interest in hawking products and services designed to combat "cyberterrorists" for governments and corporations?

  • by gweihir (88907) on Saturday March 30, 2013 @01:32PM (#43319149)

    Whenever a bureaucracy has nothing worthwhile to say (i.e. always), they turn to hyperbole. There are no cyber-terrorists. At most, these people are vandals, and they are not well-funded either as these attacks are cheap, get you press, but don't do any damage if the target has a minimal level of preparedness.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Am wondering how much you think cyber profiteers could make by taking down a few major financial institutes for a couple of days? Does the market care about large consumer data breaches?? I realize if you hold too much of short position the goverment will realize it was you. But if your time it during a time when there are other reasons to be on the short side am thinking you could profit immensely with relatively minor suspicion.

  • This attack will continue till the Erasing of that nasty movie.

    ...if they'd be so kind as to add the Star Wars prequels to their list.
  • ...the cyber-fundamentalists that North Korea is behind that movie.

    I mean, they're godless communists, right?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Quote: ""It's not that these are the most sophisticated things in the world," he explained, "but it has been getting more sophisticated, and it's growing.""

    That doesn't sound like a class project to you? Let them carry on. It's Educational; good practice.

    When the students practicing in the project are well enough trained, they will be able to qualify for work Visas and will be able to come to the U.S. Companies who can't find "as qualified" candidates coming out of U.S. schools (at least who will work

  • but who wants to be well funded is the government force against them.

  • I'm chuckling currently of the "dim lits" currently DDOS'ing Wells Fargo,(where I bank). No one at W.t.F is even staying late to assess these clowns next "scarey" move. A source at W.t.F comment was, "Ya, we gotta an app for that."
  • war and terrorism in my opinion are now changed ... the economic attacks in Europe are a clear demonstration that these methods are more effective than any bomb. Without taking into account the damage that it can cause a massive computer attack on any structure, company or even country.

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