Al-Qaida's Shamukh chat forum under attack, says expert

The forum used by Muslim militants has been rendered inaccessible

Al-Qaida's top-tier Al-Shamukh chat forum is facing an ongoing electronic attack, that has rendered the forum totally unreachable, according to a terrorism expert.

The attack on Shamukh is similar to one reported in June this year, and first the domain and then subsequently the underlying data server were both taken down separately, Evan Kohlmann of Flashpoint Partners said in an email late Monday.

The difference this time however is that al-Qaida now has an alternate secondary forum to distribute its propaganda and media, known as "Al-Fidaa". "In other words, shutting down Shamukh is still quite an annoyance, and it certainly causes jihadi webmasters headaches, but it hasn't had the same effect of gagging al-Qaida's media machine," said Kohlmann who has spent over a decade tracking al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations.

Al-Fidaa is not yet under attack, but it would be interesting to see if a similar electronic attack is launched against this forum as well.

The identity of the attackers is still not known, but it looks like someone launched a coordinated assault on the forum that was designed to cripple the whole system, Kohlmann said.

Typically, that's not the kind of thing that happens because of a lightning strike or a handful of people relying on a tool like LOIC (Low Orbit Ion Cannon), he added.

LOIC is a network stress-testing tool that floods sites with data, making them unable to serve legitimate visitors. This type of attack is called a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.

Kohlmann said in a Twitter message earlier on Monday that web domain names servicing Shamukh chat forum have come under apparent attack by unknown hostile parties. He later reported that the forum was "totally unreachable".

A threat to "cut the tongue" of U.S. TV host and comedian David Letterman was posted on the forum in August.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Al-QaidaFlashpoint PartnersAl-Shamukh

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?