May 6, 2013
How best to pass a raft of new “cybersecurity” legislation?
Make it look like Guy Fawkes Anonymous hackers have teamed up with al-Qaeda.
Just such collaborative attacks, dubbed #OpUSA, for Operation USA, will begin Tuesday, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
From The Washington Times:
The attacks are called for in the name of Anonymous, the leaderless coalition of hackers whose trademark Guy Fawkes mask has become a global symbol for their anarchistic spirit.
More dangerous, though, is the developing alliance the organization of the attacks seems to presage between criminal hackers and violent Islamic extremists.
The bulletin notes that the attacks are being promoted by the moderators of websites and discussion forums that host al Qaeda and other Islamic extremist material, in addition to calls through more conventional hacker channels like the bulletin board Pastebin.
This collaboration may “signal an emerging trend of Middle East- and North Africa-based criminally motivated hackers collaborating with others regardless of their motivation,” like Islamic extremists, states the bulletin.
It may also be a signal for the Pentagon to finally begin reacting to “nuisance-level” strikes as acts of war.
The Wall Street Journal reported in March, 2011:
The Pentagon has concluded that computer sabotage coming from another country can constitute an act of war, a finding that for the first time opens the door for the U.S. to respond using traditional military force.
In part, the Pentagon intends its plan as a warning to potential adversaries of the consequences of attacking the U.S. in this way. “If you shut down our power grid, maybe we will put a missile down one of your smokestacks,” said a military official.
Obviously defacing a government website is hardly akin to taking down a power grid – something that is virtually impossible over the public internet. More pertinent to the government’s increasingly hysterical warning about malicious hackers is the scary prediction that the perennial bogeyman al-Qaeda will hitch up with Anonymous.