Real-world terrorists are once again threatening to take their jihad (Holy War) to cyberspace. The notorious Al-Qaeda has threatened to launch a Web attack on Western anti-Muslim Web sites on the 11th of November, according to DEBKAfile, an online military intelligence magazine.
An attack like this could be unleashed via the Electronic Jihad Version 2.0 software, which is not actually new and has been around for about three years now. The said software is capable of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. It is also configurable and flexible, which makes it easy for cyber-terrorists to be more effective in the said attacks.
Researchers across the industry have raised quizzical eyebrows as similar threats have turned out to be a dud, like the cyber attack that never happened against U.S. banks and financial institutions in December 2006. However, such a software was recently discovered by Trend Micro researchers. The hacking tool, which is detected as HKTL_DAHIJ.A, is now the E-Jihad Version 3.0. It arrives as an installer package and may be downloaded from a remote site.
The following is a screencap of the GUI for entering a user name and password combination:
When a certain user name and password is encoded, the hacking tool displays the following GUI:
However, for other user name and password combinations, this is what appears:
This hacking tool connects to a URL for verification purposes. After successfully establishing a connection, it downloads a list from several URLs. The said list, which contains another set of URLs, is used by the affected system to launch Denial-of-Service (DOS) attacks for the so-called e-jihad.
Law enforcers and other experts say that threats such as these should not cause much of a fuss as Web threats happen on a regular basis. Eli Alshech, Director of the Jihad and Terrorism Studies Project at the Middle East Media Research Institute, considers these e-jihadists as more of a nuisance than a threat. But with these terrorists, we will never know what they will do next. Is 11/11 going to be another date to remember?
The next big Web attack may unfold on the 11th of November or not at all. It is always good to remain skeptical about the veracity of such reports. Corporate users should protect their network with good network behavior monitoring tools.