Terrorism scaremongering - argh

It’s nice to see that organisations with a useful, legitimate role to play in the business world aren’t resorting to post-September 11 doom-mongering tactics.

Oh, wait. They are.

The Register: “Soon al-Qaeda will kill you on the Internet”

The Business Software Alliance has released a ‘report’ indicating that terrorists are poised to unleash digital hell on the world, with the Washington Post and CNN quick to trumpet this news. Of course, there’s no actual evidence to suggest this is imminent, just speculation from unnamed IT professionals.

The BSA make the leap from (a) surveying the opinions of these professionals on the likelihood of future ‘cyber attacks’ to (b) quotes such as “Today’s news reports that Al-Qaeda may be planning attacks against major parts of our country’s information infrastructure is sobering” [Robert Holleyman, CEO of the BSA]. Excuse me? I think I may have missed some logical leaps there.

I really don’t know why the BSA have released this. The Register cynically suggests a pro-Microsoft conspiracy; I wouldn’t be surprised if it was just a horrendously tasteless marketing exercise to raise the BSA’s profile. Whatever, I’m just pissed off that at a time when people are already nervous, and when vigilance is being pushed by every government agency, some publicity-happy organisation decides to spin a legitimate survey into this kind of display.

I can imagine the scenes back there at Terrorist HQ (write c/o Bombs ‘R’ Us, Third Cave from the Left, Afghan-Pakistani Border):

“Ahmed! Take up your Kalashnikov, go into the streets, and kill the Americans!”

“Allah is great! The infidels shall perish!”

“Fazul! Strap these explosives to your body, and detonate them in an elementary school!”

“Allah is glorious! I shall die a martyr!”

“Abdullah! Take this laptop and mount a Denial-of-Service attack on cnn.com!”

“Allah is… uhhh… can’t I do something a bit less, well, geeky, boss?”

I’m not sure this is how terrorism actually works.

Typical Register with yet another version of the creaky old Microsoft conspiracy theory.

Ah, they’re just telling you that Al-Qaeda are going to hack you into a thousand and one little 404 pages! They want you to be afraid. Microsoft want you to be afraid so that they can… sell you something!

Yes, Reg, whatever.

That was funny. I broke out laughing at this one :D. . . . less geeky. lol.

On a serious note(heh, geeky), some very bad stuff can be done with a computer. However, when these companies try to label hackers as “terrorists” it is a tough sell to the public since the hackers aren’t killing people in indiscriminate, brutal and bloodly ways (a common trademark of terrorism).

So, it is very hard to take ''hacking" as anything else then cyber vandelism. Which IMHO it is.

Yes, but what if Al Qaeda get their hands on the same tehcnology as the paedophiles reported on in Brass Eye by Chris Morris? Then they’ll surely be able to release killer gases from afar through “special keyboards”, and touch our youngsters by wearing “special gloves”…


<geek>Crackers break into computers, doing cyber vandalism. Hackers do no such thing.</geek>

Yes, I know that the usage will never change to the way it should be, but one can always hope.


<geek>Crackers break into computers, doing cyber vandalism. Hackers do no such thing.</geek>

Yes, I know that the usage will never change to the way it should be, but one can always hope.


Huh? For one, I don’t trust the opinion of ANYONE who describes themselves as an IT professional.

They tend to borrow your watch and then ask you the time.

Maybe it was Al Queda who took down the SDMB back in February?

Are these the same IT pros that told us that the year 2000 would bring DOOOM!!!?

Just wondering.

Pretty lame.

Mohammed, Rajik and I have created a new terror device! It is the Al-smallulator! With it we will beam ourselves into phone lines and emerge through the speakers of decadent MP3 traders and detonate our bombs for the glory of Allah!

You laugh, but it is only a matter of time…

No mater what al-Qaida does, the best cyberwar is still between Israel and Palestine.

If you don’t buy our software, the terrorists have already won.

Depending on what software you bought, the terrorists may have already won. (Am I suggesting that MS Exchange 5.5 is a tool of Al Queda? Yes.)