Islamic hackers attack American Express website

Cyber attackers linking themselves to Hamas knocked website offline for a few hours using DDoS attack.

April 2, 2013 18:35
1 minute read.
Hacking [illustrative]

Man with computer 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Thomas Peter)

Internet hackers using the name of Hamas’s armed wing, Izzadin Kassam, launched a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack on the website of American Express last week, the Infosecurity website reported.

The attack managed to knock the website offline for a few hours, the report said, adding that the hackers had cited the anti-Islamic video The Innocence of Muslims as their motivation.

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In DDOS attacks, many computers infected by a Trojan horse are directed to visit Internet sites selected by the attacker as a target. If enough requests are directed at a server, it will crash temporarily.

According to Infosecurity, the hacking group “has long been tied to Iran by the US officials,” adding that the hackers themselves have vowed to continue cyber attacks until the film is removed from YouTube.

The hackers reportedly previously issued warnings to target American banks.

A network security expert from the Arbor Networks’ company, Dan Holden, was cited by the technology website Ars Technica as saying that that the Izzadin Kassam group “has to be funded at some level,” even if the hackers are not directly working for a government.

The Innocence of Muslims video sparked violent protests in Muslim countries after it was translated into Arabic in September 2012, months after it was first uploaded to Youtube. It has since been blocked in Egypt, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, and other Muslim states.

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