Al Qaeda hijacks web server to distribute video

From Matt Tanase’s Don’t let this happen to you:

Smaller companies often assume they have nothing of interest to hackers. Often times that is the case, but they are still after resources, as in this case. Unfortunately, the hackers in this case are tied to Al Qaeda. They placed the recent hostage video on a California companies server. Imagine all of the lovely publicity this brought in.

From New24’s US firm spread hostage video (17 June 2004):

Video images of a US engineer taken hostage in Saudi Arabia, possibly by the al-Qaeda network, could have been put on the internet via a US firm based in California, Der Spiegel magazine reported on Thursday.

The video was released on Tuesday and shows relatively high-quality film of hostage Paul Johnson, who kidnappers from a group called “al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula” have threatened to kill by Friday.

The origin of the video was traced to Silicon Valley Land Surveying Incorporated, a California land surveying and mapping company, said Spiegel online, the internet service for the respected German weekly.

The magazine said that according to its research the move was the first time al-Qaeda had “hijacked” a website to broadcast its propaganda.