Information Warfare: How A Gentleman Hacks

Archives

June 2, 2012: The U.S. Secretary of State gave a speech last month in which she implied that U.S. government hackers had gone after al Qaeda web sites and replaced pictures of dead Americans with photos of Moslem civilians killed by al Qaeda. Several media outlets picked up on this and ran the story. Soon, some readers decided to check for themselves and the less exciting truth emerged. What the State Department did was place anti-al Qaeda ads on a pro-terrorist web site. Like most web sites, ads are provided by a broker (often Google) and if you want to spend the money, you can outbid everyone else to put your ads on a particular website. That's what the State Department did with this one pro-al Qaeda website. Until the web site management was able to get in touch with the ad broker, the State Department ads appeared, contradicting what the pro-terrorist web site was all about. Hardly a hack and not cheap either.

What the State Department would like to do on these websites is post a lot of anti-terrorist material. But state department staff or contractors can only do that if they identify themselves as representatives of the U.S. government. Al Qaeda haters who do not work for the U.S. government can, and often do, flood terrorist web sites with ant-al Qaeda material, without officially identifying themselves as anti-terrorism activists.

 

 


Article Archive

Information Warfare: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
$0
$2000

Help Keep StrategyPage Off The Rocky Shoals!

January, February and March are notoriously low ad revenue months online. And StrategyPage has not been spared. We need to raise $2000 in combined subscriptions and contributions to keep us cruising into next month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close