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Hackers Hit Top al-Qaeda Website

Cyberexperts unsure whether attack was government sponsored
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2011 7:08 AM CDT

(Newser) – Hackers have taken down a key al-Qaeda online forum and propaganda site, al-Shamukh, hitting not just the website but also the host server, reports the AP. Given the sophistication of the attack, security experts think the incident might have been government-sponsored, something that has happened several times in the past. However, because websites can be restored so quickly, Western government usually prefer to allow the al-Qaeda sites to remain open, but use them for intelligence. "These sites can be like spy satellites, they're great ways of gathering information about your adversaries," said a counterterrorism expert. "Bringing them down is like shooting at your own spy satellites." (Read more al-Qaeda stories.)

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