The United States government was able to launch a successful cyber attack against an Al Qaida group in Yemen

The United States is often the target of foreign-based cyber attacks, but recently dished out some retribution against an Al Qaida website.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton openly discussed a recent cyber attack success, with the U.S. targeting Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula affiliates in Yemen.  The group uses the Internet to recruit new members interested in launching attacks against western targets.

Instead of promoting the deaths of Americans via online ads, the U.S. cyber attackers posted something discussing Muslim civilian death.

"Within 48 hours, our team plastered the same sites with altered versions of the ads that showed the toll al-Qaida attacks have taken on the Yemeni people," Clinton recently said. "We can tell our efforts are starting to have an impact because extremists are publicly venting their frustration and asking supporters not to believe everything they read on the internet."

Cyber attacks aren't anything new, with nations and groups taking sides in a developing war landscape. The United States and Israel are both closely watching Iran's military movements, including their cyber efforts.

In the cyber battle against Al Qaida, U.S. officials want to discredit and out-think the group and its cyber war efforts. Last year, the Pentagon began drafting limits on when cyber attacks could be used on foreign governments, but attacking Al Qaeda wouldn't apply if the guidelines were in place.

Foreign governments are finding it easy to attack the U.S. government, including China's consistent cyber attacks, but Al Qaida likely can't respond directly.

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