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Hackers Attack Danish Newspaper Web Site

Posted: February 9, 2006

A video showing how hackers attacked the Web site of a Danish newspaper that printed caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed is circulating on numerous Internet forums and bulletin boards.

The 2 ½ minute video begins by showing images of Danish people heads on animal bodies, an image of the body of slain Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh and a photo of a Danish military vehicle overlaid with text that calls for attacks against Danish soldiers.

The video then shows the logo of the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, which first printed the cartoon images of Muhammad in September 2005.  The images led to death threats, rioting and targeting of Danish and other European embassies and institutions throughout the Muslim world.


The video displays screenshots of a computer starting a Denial of Service attack against the actual Jyllands-Posten Web site.  A Denial of Service attack floods a computer with requests for information at such a high volume that the whole system is slowed down and cannot properly handle legitimate requests.  Anyone attempting to go to the Web site gets an error message and cannot access the site.


The video shows screens for the software used to commit the attack and a shot of the Jyllands-Posten Web site reporting an error when trying to access it.  Similar to many terrorist video clips promoting "real world" attacks, the video includes prayers chanted in Arabic.


The video, which includes calls for a boycott of Danish goods, also displays a series of "tags" - images and text often left by hackers as a "calling card" after they break into a system.  One of the "tags" shows a skull with the words, "You are in grave danger."  (photo below)


The video ends with a Web site address apparently claiming credit for the attack.  The Web site was hosted on a server in Tampa, Florida. 

Hackers have reportedly attacked hundreds of Danish Web sites since protests against the caricatures of Muhammad began.

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2006 Anti-Defamation League