Jawa & Cyber "Vigilantes" in the News: Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta

Congratulations to my good friend and colleague Dr. Rusty Shackleford. He's now, or will soon be, a household name in Australia. As will Aaron of Internet Haganah, whose link I can't find at the moment. (thanks, Wishbone)

Which, coincidentally, is where I'm evaluating property* in case McCain wins the nomination.

UPDATE by Rusty: Here's a little excerpt. The author mentions he was watching us when we took down a number of Taliban websites. He even timed us. How good are you guys? Five Taliban websites pwned, 30 minutes.

When the dust had cleared and the bodies counted, 35+ Taliban websites were gone. To quote Kool Moe Dee, how ya like me now?:

One online counter-insurgent who has successfully tracked extremist sites for the past four years told NEWS.com.au like many Western forums the extremist discussions include sharing secrets on how to pirate anything from operating systems to mobile ring-tones.

But the vigilante – a US resident who wishes to be identified only as “Rusty” – said the most common software discussed were image, sound and video editing applications – the sort used to produce propaganda with high production values.
“The quality of the videos and the propaganda is just so much better than it was two years ago,” Rusty said. “They’re savvy - cyber-savvy.”

In one 30-minute period NEWS.com.au tracked five websites used by the Taliban in Afghanistan being shut down following their unmasking by vigilantes.

More excerpted below. I'm still not fond of the vigilante rap, but I think in the case of this particular author that he meant no harm.

As Fred Fry notes, I guess that makes you all Assistant Vigilantes.

Rusty said the extreme content of the early beheading videos had outraged him so much he started using his computer skills to do something about it.

But he said most of the people distributing jihadi content were not cave-dwelling terrorists but more likely to be traditional Gen Y digital natives searching for the latest films and music.

“These are usually middle-class kids, usually young men, sitting at a computer somewhere… typically in Western Europe or more developed parts of North Africa or the Middle East,” he said.

“They’ve got time and money on their hands, and they do this all day long.”

*Well, sort of. I'm really looking at some of the uninhabited islands that dot the South Pacific in the vicinity of Australia.

Posted by: Vinnie at 07:24 PM

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