Friday, June 18, 2004

Al-Qaida videos turn up in hacked server

Der Standard is reporting that a video of Paul Johnson, the Lockheed engineer being held hostage by al-Qa'ida, has turned up on a server belonging to a surveying firm in California. The paper referred to a German techie news site, Heise Online, which in turn referred to this story from Der Spiegel. The firm in question, Silicon Valley Surveying Inc., knew nothing until links to the video began appearing on jihadi bulletin boards (there's a depressing phrase) and the server fell over under a deluge of traffic. Apparently the film and much more stuff was placed in a subdirectory on SVS's server. Very few anglophone news sources have covered this so far for some reason. (Google News, Technorati Breaking News)

This is interesting, as it suggests for the first time that hacking has become an al-Qa'ida technique (how else did they get their hands on the film?). And that was one of the possible triggers for serious trouble Gwyn Prins mentioned in The Heart of War, a book everyone ought to read.

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