Taliban Webmaster: We’ve Been Hacked!

(WIRED) Online fans of the Taliban, beware: A website of the Islamic Emirate may have been hacked.

Abu al-Aina’a al-Khorasani, an administrator an elite jihadi forum endorsed by the Taliban, warns in an online post that the “group’s main site and the site of its online journal Al-Sumud, have been the subject of an ‘infiltration operation.’”

Khorasani’s post on Fallujah forum warns online jihadis “to not enter any of the links that concern these websites, and not even to surf [the content] until you receive the confirmed news by your brothers, Allah-willing.”

As readers of the Taliban’s websites know, outages are fairly regular. But a confirmed infiltration may be something new, says Flashpoint Partners’ Evan Kohlmann, who’s been tracking internet extremists for years.

“The official Afghan Taliban website has, of course, routinely been knocked offline and disabled by cybervigilantes and other culprits, but this would be the first instance that I’m aware of it being actually ‘infiltrated,’” Kohlmann said. “It’s an unsettling prospect for security-minded online jihadists, because such sites can be manipulated by a variety of hostile parties in order to harvest a breathtaking amount of personal data on regular visitors.”

Indeed, in early April, Danger Room snagged a picture used to vandalize the Taliban’s main website, which featured scenes of some of the more notorious acts of brutality perpetrated by the Afghan militant group (pictured above).

While authorship of the apparent attack is as yet undetermined, it’s worth noting that the Defense Department stated its intention in the Spring of 2009 to begin shutting down extremist media outlets in Afghanistan and Pakistan.



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