Bank Cyberattacks Stopping for Now, Islamist Group Says
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The Islamist hacktivists who claim responsibility for the ongoing attacks on banking websites are taking a break.
"The suspension of Operation Ababil has started today and will continue till further notice," an email sent out by the Al-Qassam Cyber Fighters today (Jan. 29) stated.
Operation Ababil is the name the previously unknown group has given to its bank attacks, which began in September. The group says its sole aim is to get YouTube to take down all instances of the "Innocence of Muslims" movie and movie trailer.
"After a while, a little bit of rationalism was seen and the main copy of the insulting movie was removed from YouTube," said the latest email.
And indeed, the most-viewed instance of the "Innocence of Muslims" trailer has been replaced by a black screen with the standard YouTube message, "This video has been removed by the user. Sorry about that."
"The Al-Qassam Cyber Fighters lauds this positive measure of YouTube and on this basis suspends his operation and plans to give a time to Google and U.S. government to remove the other copies of film as well," the email said in imperfect English.
"During the suspension of Operation Ababil, no attack to U.S. banks would take place by al-Qassam cyber fighters."
The Al-Qassam Cyber Fighters took a six-week break last fall following an Islamic holiday.
The hacktivists seem to assume that Google, rather than the YouTube user who uploaded it, took down the most-viewed instance of the trailer.
There are still a dozen other copies of the trailer and movie up on YouTube, including two uploaded by "Innocence of Muslims" filmmaker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula under the alias "Sam Bacile."
"All of them needed to be removed," said the Al-Qassam Cyber Fighters' email. "Meanwhile, we will control the situation constantly and closely and will adopt the correct decision according to the future circumstances."