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Islamist hackers are preparing to launch “Operation USA” cyber attacks on American banks, governmental agencies, and various companies. The computer hackers stem from Maghreb and the other Middle Eastern nations, according to a release by the Department of Homeland Security. The #OpUSA labeled cyber hacking will reportedly take place on Tuesday, May 7th.
Both Islamist groups and Anonymous claim during the OpUSA cyber attack they will “take down” U.S. governmental websites such as the National Security Agency, the Pentagon, the White House, and the FBI. More than 130 banks are also targets of the Operation USA attacks. Bank of America, Wells Fargo, TD Bank, Citi Bank, PNC, BBT, Peoples, Lehman, Third Federal, Navy Federal, and Capital One are reportedly among the primary targets.
The Islamist extremist hacking group’s (known as Izz al-Din Qassam Cyber Fighters) stated goal is to get the Innocence of Muslims video yanked off of YouTube. The hacking team also cites “war crimes” in Pakistan, Iraq, and Afghanistan as justification for the planned massive hacking of governmental agencies and bank computers. The group successfully pulled of denial of service computer attacks against large banks in the United States over the past six months.
Additional Islamist groups which have been named as cyber hacking partners in the May 7 OpUSA attacks include: Mauritania, Ajax Team, AnonGhost team, REBEL, FALLAGE, HaCker Team, Khorasan Hackers Army Team, and the Muslim Liberation Army. While there has been no official statement from any of the groups, there also has not been a denial of the association with the planned hacking event.
On May 6th, a hacking group known as X-Blackerz Inc. hacked the police department on Honolulu with “limited effectiveness.” The email addresses and passwords of 23 police officers were posted publicly online after the attack.
The group claims it successfully gained entry into 100 other websites, including Indian hospitality companies and American small businesses. A review of the claims revealed that the group did infiltrate to the extent that anti-American statements were displayed on the screen.
A statement released from X-Blackerz Inc. about the attack and OpUSA reads:
“Due to the simultaneity of OpUSA with Operation Ababil, and to abstain from ambiguity in the intentions of our operation, this week we will not run any attacks and so Operation Ababil will be paused during May 7-9th.”
Late Monday morning a Colorado Springs television station announced that it too became victims of cyber hackers. KXRM, a Fox TV affiliate, reported that their email server had been hacked sometime between Sunday evening and Monday morning. A statement from the television station reads:
“The server that stores our emails was hacked, and the person(s) responsible is literally holding our information for ransom, asking for $5,000 to unlock the data he scrambled.”
A Department of Homeland Security (DHS) release stated that the Operation USA cyber hackers pose a “limited threat” of disrupting websites in the United States on a temporary basis. The government statement went on to note that the Islamist hackers will utilize “nuisance level” strikes and perhaps try to disable or deface websites. The federal agency contends that the hackers possess only “rudimentary” computer attack skills—let’s all hope the DHS is accurate.
Threats by Chinese hackers brought the vulnerability of the nation’s power grid to the attention of some Americans for the very first time. If hackers from the Middle East or anywhere on the globe could successfully infiltrate the control system for the power grid, life as we know it would immediately change.
A report about the Operation USA threat by Islamist hackers in the Washington Times unveiled a dangerous and developing online alliance. The newspaper maintains that some criminal hackers and Islamic extremists have joined forces.
“#OpUSA Let’s hurt them wher it’s hurt the moste target list for #OpUSA V1 we are anonymous, we do not forgive, we do not forget expect us!!! whe are anonymous and we are the final BOSS of the internet!”
The spelling and phrasing in the cyber hacking mission statement has led many to believe the cyber hackers are not English as a native language speakers.
Promotion of the cyber attacks on America are reportedly popping up on forums and websites that also host information from al Qaeda. The online Pastebin bulletin board is widely considered a conventional virtual gathering spot for computer hackers.
According to the Washington Times’s Brian Krebs, an excerpt from a Department of Homeland Security bulletin reads:
“Middle East and North-Africa-based criminal hackers will continue issuing public statements to announce cyber attack plans against high-profile targets. Perceived success might lead other individuals—including those with advanced technical skills—to undertake similar efforts and attempt more threatening cyber attacks targeting US government and commercial websites.”
The Cyberwarzone website enaged in an interview with a cyber hacker known as Mauritania Attacker. The individual maintained that the May 7 OpUSA attacker would be a lot harder of a strike than the recent OPIsrael attack. Mauritania Attacker also stated that the U.S. government is equal to the Israeli government—presumably the comment was an insult to both nations. The cyber hacker also maintained that the group made Israel lose $3 billion during the cyber attack. The hacker also mentioned that the attack will hurt the only thing the American government cares about—money.
The Department of Homeland Security will reportedly continue to monitor online traffic to detect other signs about a developing partnership between jihadists and the group known as Anonymous. The group has a history of siding with “dubious entities,” according to The Blaze. Earlier this month Anonymous was alleged to be behind a series of cyber attacks on Israeli websites. The hacking was reportedly done in support of the Free Palestinian People movement. Anyone can potentially claim the Anonymous moniker, as the group is decidedly informal.
Although the events did not get much play in the media, U.S. banks have been the target of 200 cyber attacks since September 2012. The presumably coordinated attacks from Islamic hacking groups are allegedly linked to the Iranian regime. A total of 46 financial institutions were targeted in the computer hacking scheme, according to an FBI statement.
— ❖Λnonymous❖ (@AnonymousWWN) May 6, 2013