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The Electronic Jihad 3.0 installer  (Source: DailyTech)
Are cyberattacks a legitimate terrorist threat? E-Jihad, as its dubbed, most certainly was not

Early this month a story began to circulate that an online Jihad was set to take place on Nov. 11, 2007.  The original source of the story, DEBKAfile, describes itself as an Israeli open source military intelligence site, though it has also been called a muckraking and political tabloid site.

DEBKAfile’s report cited anonymous “counter-terror sources” as having translated an Oct. 29, 2007, call to electronic arms for the followers of Osama bin Laden.  It was said that on Nov. 11, Al Qaeda experts would use a program known as “Electronic Jihad” to coordinate attacks on Western, Jewish, Israeli, Muslim apostate and Shiite Web sites.  Electronic Jihad, also known as the E-Jihad program, is currently in revision 3.00.

The plan was to first practice by taking down 15 specific sites and then move on to bigger attacks involving “hundreds of thousands of Islamist hackers.”

The report was quickly met with skepticism and dismissed as a threat by press and security experts.  Johannes B. Ullrich, Chief Research Officer of the SANS Technology Institute,  quipped that cyberterrorists would be unable to do more than a “lame denial of service attack.” 

In the days since Nov. 11 no major attacks fitting the description have been reported.  This may be due to Electronic Jihad’s dependence on servers that have been taken down. 

In July of this year a report by InformationWeek detailed how E-Jihad seeks to implement distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks by organizing online Jihadists.  It allows users to choose from a list of target Web sites, and pick an attack speed of low, medium, or high.  If a large enough network of users volunteer their computers, they can over whelm a single Web site by repeatedly reloading pages or pinging the server.  The program updates its target list regularly and uses proxies to avoid Web site blocking technologies. 

The weakness in the program is that it is dependent on individual servers to coordinate attacks.  It is thought that the U.S. government has taken down many of these servers, such the jihadi Web site that InformationWeek cites as the distribution source of E-Jihad.  As of the writing of this article the Web site is unavailable.

Despite its weakness, E-Jihad is a real piece of software available on the web, giving evidence that terrorists are trying to use malware as an attack vector reported Francois Paget on McAfee Avert Labs Blogs.  His company recently acquired a copy of E-Jihad 3.00 and Paget explored its abilities.  He described the program as “years behind” and attributed its Nov. 11 failure to the shutdown of the distribution server. 

Paget mentioned E-Jihad’s inferiority to modern attack techniques.  “No fast-flux network was involved; no complex Command & Control protocol was committed, no worldwide botnet was created.”

In fact, one of the incredible oversights of E-Jihad is that it does not deploy its botnet by force -- potential Jihadists must volunteer their computers to the whim of others, and potentially anyone with the E-Jihad program. 

A quick demonstration confirms the E-Jihad program could even be used against itself.  Security analysts, who wished to remain anonymous, demonstrated to DailyTech how E-Jihad just as easily initiates a denial of service attack against other E-Jihad distribution websites. 

However, due to the ineffectiveness of the network, E-Jihad fails to takedown any site.  Site monitoring logs shown to DailyTech indicate E-Jihad barely manages to scrap up a few thousand machines -- successful botnets today command hundreds of thousands of infected machines.  These machines are almost always compromised without the users' knowledge, a strong difference from the "volunteer" philosophy of E-Jihad.

Regardless of the Nov. 11 no-show, it is clear that cyberattacks are a real threat to Internet dependent businesses and governments.  Last June it was revealed that the Chinese military was most likely responsible for an attack that hacked the U.S. defense department so badly it was forced to take part of its system off line.  The Department of Homeland security has also been compromised hundreds of times by online attacks.

If the E-Jihad program were to evolve into a worm that creates botnets like the one that attacked eBay last September things could go very badly for targets in the future.  The Storm Worm is believed to have created a vast botnet with an estimated host base in the millions.  Such an army of zombie computers bent to cyberterrorism will be far more dangerous than the voluntary user network that E-Jihad employs, though as Paget points out, online Jihadists have a long way to go still.

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Its kind of hard to do an e-attack
By JasonMick on 11/14/2007 2:36:58 PM , Rating: 5
...If your populus is poor and does not have large-scale computer access. Whether is good or bad Iraq and Afghanistan do not have large scale computer access. Even countries such as Iran, Syria, and Pakistan have slightly better computer access, but still are far behind the U.S./Europe/East Asia/Australia.

A major part of it is governmental policies. These countries have traditionally restricted computer use over fear that their citizens would use it as a tool for dissent. And again, there is the simple issue of base poverty.

China on the other hand is a whole different story. It has a large populus that is making rapid gains in education and computer access. Expect it to be a major danger online. Also expect the Chinese consumer to dominate the online business industry in the latter half of the century...Google, Yahoo, etc.'s efforts to woo Chinese consumers are only a small sign of things to come.

It's a bit scary when you think of it, but you can't change the world we live in.

RE: Its kind of hard to do an e-attack
By mdogs444 on 11/14/07, Rating: 0
By accura on 11/15/2007 1:29:22 PM , Rating: 4
Yes it is scary, and we cannot control China's population growth. Scary indeed.

actually population growth in china is 0.606% (2007 est.),

and birth rate is at 13.45 births/1,000 population (2007 est.), and rank at 159 out of 223 countries

please check the fact before making comment like that

RE: Its kind of hard to do an e-attack
By JackBeQuick on 11/14/2007 2:44:16 PM , Rating: 5
All that rapid change is a scary thing indeed, for China. Very few instances of rapid change, especially social-economic, have been met without violence. The place is a powder keg.

By FITCamaro on 11/14/2007 7:17:53 PM , Rating: 3
Not gonna stop corporations from moving all IT and manufacturing work there. They'll wait till it explodes, then say they need assistance moving the work back to the states.

RE: Its kind of hard to do an e-attack
By Ringold on 11/14/2007 3:20:49 PM , Rating: 3
I think we've seen enough evidence that there are large numbers of Europeans (and a small number of Americans and Canadians) who are sympathetic enough with Al Qaeda to participate in such an attack, even if some of them do it merely out of spite for America.

That said, I think they're neither smart enough, numerous enough or organized enough, so far , to do anything like the article said.

On the other hand, they probably have a few security whiz's working for them around the world, but thus far they don't seem to have been able to inflict enough damage to me made public in any significant way.

The biggest threat is still probably the oldest threat; bombs and various forms of sabotage in metro areas.. Yet another thing we can do next to nothing about (asides from surveillance).

By Polynikes on 11/15/2007 4:11:25 PM , Rating: 3
What were they planning on doing? Taking down, or That would just absolutely cripple us, now wouldn't it?

I'm sure there'd be cries of "Oh crap I can't check my email!" and our entire country would shut down.

By robinthakur on 11/16/2007 9:44:36 AM , Rating: 2
I think you should make it VERY clear that the "Europeans" who are so spiteful that they want to attack America are all *ISLAMIC militants* living in Europe, such as the Madrid Bombers and the London bombers from Pakistan and Algeria/Morocco. Luckily these idiots are so disorganised and rubbish that most of their bombs don't explode. The IRA were FAR more efficient...

Whilst the rest of Europe not infected by the contagion which is religion, are currently not the biggest fans of America, we are well-wishers in that we wish you no specific harm ;) Like a petulant child that shits itself and then flings said excrement at all around it, despite all your fuckups, America is not so unloveable that the world does not have the means or the desire to forgive it for its transgressions

RE: Its kind of hard to do an e-attack
By helios220 on 11/14/2007 3:37:24 PM , Rating: 5
China on the other hand is a whole different story. It has a large populus that is making rapid gains in education and computer access. Expect it to be a major danger online.

Kind of like in Command & Conquer: Generals how the Chinese faction has hackers and internet hacking centers as their most viable source of income.

Oh you sneaky Chinese, and to think you would have gotten away with it if EA hadn't exposed your sinister schemes.

By ForumMaster on 11/15/2007 12:09:51 PM , Rating: 2

how ironic. i was playing some good ol' zero hour today and thought about it when read this.

RE: Its kind of hard to do an e-attack
By Homerboy on 11/14/2007 3:42:29 PM , Rating: 3
Uhh you realize any and all attacks could be done via zombies right? The "attacks" could come from a million Dell and E-Machines sitting with the US borders.

RE: Its kind of hard to do an e-attack
By bodar on 11/14/2007 4:29:59 PM , Rating: 1
If you bothered to read the article, you'd see that was the weakness. They DIDN'T try to use zombies. The software was voluntarily installed. Hell, you even got to limit your attack speed if you wanted. That's pretty much why it didn't work.

RE: Its kind of hard to do an e-attack
By Homerboy on 11/14/2007 5:19:02 PM , Rating: 2
I did read the article. I guess I was commenting on the the OP. It seemed more like he was stating that it just wouldn't happen in general (not with the specific program mentioned in the article)

RE: Its kind of hard to do an e-attack
By bodar on 11/15/2007 3:54:12 PM , Rating: 2
Ahhh, I see now that Jason's post did imply that in a way, but I don't think that was his intent. Sorry I jumped on you then.

RE: Its kind of hard to do an e-attack
By flare99 on 11/14/2007 8:33:29 PM , Rating: 5
Even countries such as Iran, Syria, and Pakistan have slightly better computer access, but still are far behind the U.S./Europe/East Asia/Australia.

I don't know why would you put Pakistan in the same league as Iran and Syria. Here is why:

1) They are not fanatics like Iran or Syria.
2) They really don't care about this E-Jihad or any Jihad for that matter.
3) Internet is not controlled by the govt. Even if it is regulated, it's no more than what we have here in US.
4) Pakistan currently has one of the best large-scale computer access. Their communication infrastructure is beyond a doubt one of the best.

I guess the credit goes to media for portraying such a inverse image which is ofcouse not true.

RE: Its kind of hard to do an e-attack
By bodar on 11/15/2007 4:13:13 PM , Rating: 2
On the other hand, terrorism in Pakistan has allowed Musharraf to call an indefinite "state of emergency" right now with the convenient side-effect of crushing all opposition to his rule and extending his presidency. Although I guess that's better than terrorists getting control of Pakistan's nukes, but I don't live in Pakistan.

By robinthakur on 11/16/2007 7:18:03 AM , Rating: 2
Why would we lump Pakistan with the rest of them?? Why indeed...Forgive me for seeming like a tool, but from the picture which I've built up from watching the UK news, nearly all of the suicide bombers, successful or not, in the UK went to train in terrorism in Pakistan under the guise of visiting their relations/going to weddings etc. Its almost funny the predictability with which you hear about a new planned attack on the news and then hear 'went to Pakistan for religious education' following somewhere not far behind. I would say that they are actually far more dangerous than Iran or Syria as both of the latter two are ruled by people that make the Pakistani president seem like benevolent paragons of democracy...Mushareff is too weak to clamp down on the madrassars and firebrand ayatollahs in Pakistan, especially in the tribal heartlands, and its very probable that even if he isn't there now, Osama Bin Laden has been hiding out there. At least we KNOW that we can't trust Iran or Syria; Pakistan is full of people who hate the non-islamic world, but the president makes friendly noises. For further evidence of this just look at all the commotion when both Salman Rushdie and that Danish cartoonist dared to commit the worst act imaginable of putting pen to paper. Even now, most newspapers/TV channels in the world are too terrified to reprint those cartoons because their editors' fear that they will be skewered to the pavement outside their offices like in the Netherlands where that film director was murdered. What makes it worse is that they spin it as "We don't want to cause offence to their religion." Clearly a sense of humour is expressly forbidden in the Koran, right next to the prophet's recipe for the first fertiliser bomb. Thank god they don't show Family guy in the Middle East!

All 'joking' aside, from what you said (and assuming martial law is not cracking down on the internet usage in Pakistan), Pakistan seems like a perfect place to launch the attacks from.

By ultimatebob on 11/15/2007 11:19:59 AM , Rating: 2
Perhaps we should send them some of those $200 OLPC laptops to help their cause?

RE: Its kind of hard to do an e-attack
By lompocus on 11/15/07, Rating: -1
By robinthakur on 11/16/2007 9:23:26 AM , Rating: 1
Right, we do wonder why! Is that why America is also in the greatest debt worldwide? The dollar's so strong right now isn't it? I think its because both the USA and also us in the UK have been dropping bomb shaped wads of cash over foreign countries for the last 7 years. However I will digress.

Your post translates to a sadly predictable and jingoistic chant of "U S A, U S A." When you say 'sand-people' do you mean Tuskan Raiders per chance?
China's rate of inflation is off the hook compared to America, and whilst its funny at present (and as you correctly assert, not a first world economy), to look and laugh at the foreigners basing their economies on producing and exporting goods (omg what a crazy idea) on a scale much larger than the US, if they keep growing at the rate which they are currently and America's economy keeps shrinking, you probably wont be laughing for long. The biggest problem with America, by far, is fuckwits like you. I know all Americans are not ignorant, unsophistaced, racist, fat pigs, but after reading your post, the stream of consciousness of a imbecile, its hard to remain convinced...Take your own advice and shoot yourself. Since you have more guns that people over there, it shouldn't be too hard to arrange...

By nukunukoo on 11/20/2007 1:23:45 AM , Rating: 1
It's exactly your kind of superiority-complex-sans-complacency that is the matter in the US. These days, our notion of being competitive is bombing the other guys. Ever noticed how fast the Dollar has fallen? How FAST the National Debt has been rising? How INCREASINGLY DEPENDENT we are on import? And how our exports have been decreasing? And if your skull is not thick enough, you may probably have noticed that the rest of the world (well, plenty of them) are gaining? How many American companies are now foreign-owned or at the very least, partially (think AMD)? Calling tech-support, you sure you are talking to an American? Go to your local grocer and you'd probably go on a mandatory diet if you simply wanted to buy American. Thank goodness we're still leading in Software Technology (right?) So lets STOP criticizing the next country and start rebuilding this one (GWB please leave!!!) Because, seriously, with this trend, I doubt you will sing your same tune about everyone else in a few years! PEACE!

By KristopherKubicki on 11/14/2007 2:54:32 PM , Rating: 3
I just wanted to throw in my two cents here, even thought I co-authored this piece as well.

I really don't know anyone thought this was going to work.

RE: Hmm
By helios220 on 11/14/2007 3:31:35 PM , Rating: 2
The whole thing is kind of a joke, on my fear-o-meter this was around the same level as script-kiddies using AOL Search for 'teach me 133t haXor skillz'. What are they going to do next, hack into public phones at a subway station to battle The Plague?

Could they eventually build a much more sophisticated botnet? Eh sure why not, but this still has amateur hour written all over it for now.

RE: Hmm
By MonkeyPaw on 11/14/2007 6:42:27 PM , Rating: 2
Rumor has it that these e-terrorists were thwarted by Vista's UAC.

RE: Hmm
By nukunukoo on 11/20/2007 1:28:18 AM , Rating: 2
Rumor has it that the e-terrorists WERE using Vista!

By borismkv on 11/14/2007 7:37:48 PM , Rating: 4
Maybe they would have gotten more volunteers if they had called it iJihad...I mean E-whatever went out of style in the 90's.

RE: Hmmm...
By nukunukoo on 11/20/2007 1:30:48 AM , Rating: 2
True, "I-Terrorist" does have a nice sound to it!

Porn Saves the Day
By BladeVenom on 11/14/2007 3:49:14 PM , Rating: 5
They were going to make their attack, but then started looking at porn...

SNL skit
By lamborghini on 11/14/2007 3:39:29 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds like a skit from SNL.

RE: SNL skit
By bodar on 11/14/2007 4:25:42 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, except this was funny.

Come on, that was THE perfect setup. How could I not take it?

Pull the...
By Regs on 11/14/2007 3:29:18 PM , Rating: 2
They pulled the pin on the grenade and then threw the pin.

It was supposed to be a firesale...
By Amiga500 on 11/14/2007 4:31:28 PM , Rating: 2
But Bruce was too busy that day to save the world.

Dumb Jihadists
By mal1 on 11/15/2007 12:44:18 PM , Rating: 2
The only people that could pull this off are the Russian botnet herders.

take a look at this site
By Screwballl on 11/17/2007 3:33:40 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure if it is the result of this attack or another nigerian port spamming but they seem to have been hit right around this same timeframe

who benefits?
By GeorgeOrwell on 11/14/07, Rating: -1
RE: who benefits?
By Ringold on 11/14/2007 3:16:54 PM , Rating: 3
@ The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy Recruiters / Illuminati : Please send me an application. I am a loyal acolyte and want a piece of your apparent $38 trillion windfall. Willing to travel and work weekends.

RE: who benefits?
By Eris23007 on 11/14/2007 8:20:58 PM , Rating: 1

Kristopher - This post deserves a 6!

RE: who benefits?
By GeorgeOrwell on 11/14/07, Rating: 0
RE: who benefits?
By JackBeQuick on 11/14/2007 3:17:08 PM , Rating: 2
Your posts have gotten increasingly xenophobic lately, but this one is over-the-top tinfoil hat.

Random FYI, Zeitgeist is not a documentary.

RE: who benefits?
By clovell on 11/14/2007 3:18:53 PM , Rating: 1
For a guy with such fanatical doctrines, you don't do much to back them up.

RE: who benefits?
By GeorgeOrwell on 11/14/2007 10:18:19 PM , Rating: 2

Recently, the above referenced model valued Iraqi oil reserves at approximately $30 trillion.

There are a number of models that value the Iraqi oil reserves between $24 trillion and $88 trillion depending on world oil prices and other factors. The $38 trillion figure I used is from one pricing model.

Beyond the above reference, there is many facts that you can find yourself.

For more background on the oil industry:

Remember this: the ignorant may have lives, but they never live.

RE: who benefits?
By clovell on 11/15/2007 2:37:34 PM , Rating: 1
The first link was kind of interesting. A lot of what was said made sense. The second I didn't read through, though - I stopped when I saw the term 'neo-con' being thrown about like a four letter word. Both articles seemed to agree that many factors played a part in the US's involvement in Iraq.

Ultimately, even if these articles are correct, the actions of the US ended up serving the best interests of the US economy, and show that the UN did one hell of a job neglecting / sabotaging that economy before the US took unilateral action.

RE: who benefits?
By robinthakur on 11/16/2007 10:15:47 AM , Rating: 2
Ultimately, even if these articles are correct, the actions of the US ended up serving the best interests of the US economy, and show that the UN did one hell of a job neglecting / sabotaging that economy before the US took unilateral action.

Whilst you say that you dislike the word neocon, you then go on to effectively say that the US did go in there to sure up their economy by safeguarding the oil the US. If that is what you're in fact saying then I'm lost for words, is this not the very essence of neo conservatism? I don't think anyone really has a problem (in the West!) with this, oil resources being finite as they are, it would just be nice if America (and by extension the UK was honest about it and didn't bleat on about spreading democracy and WMD's balderdash. I'm reminded of that Simpsons episode when the local school strike oil and Mr Burns sucks it all out through another diagnal pipe before they can recover any of it lol

RE: who benefits?
By Xerio on 11/14/2007 4:02:22 PM , Rating: 2
Yowza. If you are going to make such bold, outrageous statements, give us some references to back it up. I don't think there were any real beneficiaries of 9/11 except those that only want to see America fall. Banking elite? Energy companies? Military industrial complex? And where is this $38 trillion in oil resources, etc?

Conspiracy theories are what people talk about when they are bored. Let's find more constructive things to do with our time.

RE: who benefits?
By FITCamaro on 11/14/07, Rating: 0
RE: who benefits?
By Noya on 11/14/2007 10:19:20 PM , Rating: 1
This coming from someone with "Camaro" in their screen name and in nearly every reply they make, they blindly support "authority" / government / war /etc. You should turn that gun around and make the world a better place.

RE: who benefits?
By FITCamaro on 11/14/2007 11:40:35 PM , Rating: 1
What does me liking the Chevy Camaro have to do with anything?

RE: who benefits?
By GaryJohnson on 11/15/2007 1:09:48 AM , Rating: 3
Maybe he thinks it's an icon of fanatic patriotism?

RE: who benefits?
By FITCamaro on 11/15/2007 6:24:56 PM , Rating: 2
Apparently. In that case he's correct. I love America and you'd have to pay me a lot of money to get me to move somewhere else.

RE: who benefits?
By GaryJohnson on 11/15/2007 11:06:16 PM , Rating: 2
There is a definite lack of critical thinking involved in blind zeal that doesn't appeal to me.

RE: who benefits?
By Mk4ever on 11/14/2007 9:21:28 PM , Rating: 1
Well my friend, I was hoping to assure this program is fake.

Surprisingly, I found an old topic advertising for version 1.5 of this program in the Islamic section of the forum that I moderate some parts of (yes, I'm Iraqi).

By the way, It's a satellite/DVB arabic forum. How that was advertised over there and why? Beats me!

On the other subject you mentioned, do I believe that arabs planned 9/11? no. Most of the world, including arabs/muslims believe that we did it. I don't. Many reasons lead me to that belief.

I mean for God's sake, look at this arabic program. It doesn't even work! All arabic plans/products are the same way. I live this reality and I wish I someday see some arabic system/plan pay off. Do you guys seriously think an arabic plan could success? I honestly and desparately shake my head and say: Na!!!

Definitely some will point to some sort of a tin hat over my head, but I believe that in this world, many events' explanations were discovered to be actually worse than anyone could imagine.

RE: who benefits?
By teckytech9 on 11/14/2007 10:44:41 PM , Rating: 1
Conspiracy theories are sometimes spun to create a false reality that sometimes may turn out to be true depending on where ones definition of truth really lies. History also tends to repeat itself and what history reveals is newsworthy of examination. Fiction that depicts possible events can also happen thanks to Murphy's law.

One can certainly spin this article to read that this eJihad program was created by our own government to catch "would be terrorists" to prevent attacks on our information
infrastructure. Whether this is fact or fiction, history will only tell.

RE: who benefits?
By lompocus on 11/15/2007 9:51:10 PM , Rating: 1
A group of arabs just coming from iraq are sitting in a plane *ok just hold on for a bit, I would have said bar but this is funnier*. A group of mexicans are sitting behind them. A bomb goes off in the back. Everyone looks at the arabs.

A group of jappanese in the 1940s are sitting in a plane. A group of mexicans are sitting behind them. A TV is somehow invented and displays a pro-japan crazy deathmetal song. Everyone looks at the jappanese.

A group of Mexicans are sitting in a plane during the american-mexican war. A group of mandarins are sitting behind them. The mexican government just killed pancho (was that his name? forgot, he was the great wonderful revolutionary that could have freed mexico from corrupt leaders but was turned on by those same evil leaders). Everyone looks at the mexicans.

See what I'm talking about now? Don't worry, you're gonna go through this. Just as everyone looks weird at a whitey when they talk about jena 6, just like I get uncomfortable when the whities around me are almost coming close to supporting the agressors in jena 6 and becoming some kind of racial nationalism.

By TITAN1080 on 11/15/07, Rating: -1
RE: overdone?
By James Holden on 11/15/2007 12:03:13 PM , Rating: 2
Glad you read the article. I'm slightly more terrified of Nerf guns than this "e-jihad".

"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs
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