Arab Electronic Army Launches Wave of Cyber Attacks

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A group calling itself the Arab Electronic Army was recently formed to launch cyber attacks in retaliation for the posting of an offensive video on YouTube.

"The group is part of the widespread anger over an online video called 'Innocence of Muslims' that has brought protests across as many as 20 countries," writes CSO Online's Antone Gonsalves. "The outrage stems from the film's denigration of the Prophet Muhammad, which is punishable by death in some Arab countries."

"One of the hackers, who identified himself as Ridouan (hacker alias RéD-Zàr) from Morocco, wrote in an email sent to Al Arabiya English that the hacking operations were part of a 'campaign to defend Allah’s prophet.' ... Ridouan ... explained that after he proposed the idea of forming an 'electronic army' he received wide support from young Muslim hackers to 'repel all offenses against our religion,'" write Al Arabiya's Mustapha Ajbaili.

"The group ... has defaced a variety of mostly Brazilian domain names, including www.handmet-military.net, www.paradaviva.com, www.vibeararuama.com.br, nioaquemaisnoticias.com.br, itamixfm.com.br, clickboahora.com, frizzera.com.br, leapresentes.com.br, mucuriverdade.com.br, and mundiostur.com.br," Infosecurity reports. "On www.handmet-military.net, the hackers placed a verse from the Quran and a video titled, 'the absolute truth about Muhammad in the Bible with Arabic subtitles.'"

"[Although] the nascent group has yet to generate a big takedown, some in the security community are taking the emergence of the Arab Electronic Army seriously, including a number of banks that are 'going on high alert,' according to network security management contractor AlgoSec," writes PCMag.com's Damon Poeter. "'Cyber hacktivism is a reality in today's highly charged environment. These cyber terrorists are targeting critical infrastructure, taking down highly publicized sites, and working to steal sensitive information, so government and businesses must ensure they do not take these threats lightly,' said Sam Erdheim, director of security strategy at AlgoSec."