With word of increasing violence and protests around the world stemming from the Danish-Islam cartoon controversy, come fears of potentially significant attacks against the web. There have already been reports of attacks against a number of Danish web sites.
Andrew Cochrane, a vice president at the GAGE business consulting firm and founder of The Counterterrorism blog, writes about what could be a growing threat. He spoke with Jim Melnick, iDefense's director of threat intelligence, who told him:
We've already seen the spike in anti-Danish (.dk) defacements in the last day or so; some Western hackers, having seen the sensitivity of the Muslim world to the cartoons, could retaliate with even more offensive defacements, escalating the crisis still further. The passions of some hacktivists often wear out after they have made their initial point in a few defacements and that could happen here; on the other hand, if long-term boycotts are sustained as part of the protests against the cartoons, ongoing pro-Muslim hacking in support of such efforts also seems likely. The next stage of concern from our standpoint will be to see if hacking against Danish and other European sites now goes to the next level, which would probably be organized denial of service attacks.
Cochrane writes that this is another warning of how extremists in the war on terror remain ready, willing and able to take their fight to the internet in their fight against the West.
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