Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Relation between Terrorist Activity, Credit Card Theft and Computer Crime

Credit card fraud is an important tool for many criminal organizations - for both funding and operational support. The Counterterrorism Blog has published an article on the acquisition and use of stolen credit cards by terrorists and the relation to computer crimes.
"The internet not only serves as a learning tool for terrorists but also functions as a mechanism to steal credit card information through hacking, phishing and other means."
The article provides two case studies: Imam SAMUDRA, convicted for the Bali bombings, and Younes TSOULI (see Insight into Al-Qaeda Use of the Internet).
"[Imam] Samudra is technologically savvy and a computer expert. While in prison in 2004, he wrote a jailhouse manifesto. It was an autobiography of his jihadist life. The book contained a chapter, entitled “Hacking, Why Not.” In it, he urged fellow Muslim radicals to take holy war into cyberspace by attacking U.S. computers. Samudra described America’s computer network as being vulnerable to hacking, credit card fraud and money laundering. The chapter did not focus on specific techniques. It focused on how to find techniques on the internet and how to connect with people in chat rooms to perfect hacking and carding skills. It was a course of study for aspiring hackers and carders. Samudra discussed the process of scanning for websites vulnerable to hacking and then went on to discuss the basics of online credit card fraud and money laundering."

Credit Cards and Terrorists

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