IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Terrorists, technology and fighting back

We investigate how extremists are using technology in their attempts to spread terror and threaten businesses.

Last year, explosives were discovered on UPS and FedEx planes heading towards Jewish organisations in the US.

The packages were intercepted in the UK and Dubai, having originated from Yemen. Thankfully there was no loss of life.

From a technology perspective though, what was interesting was how the pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) bombs were set up.

Firstly, the explosives were hidden inside a laser printer toner cartridge. Furthermore, it was reported the bomb contained a detonator connected to a mainboard and battery taken from a regular mobile phone.

According to various accounts, the bombs could have been set off by calling the phone and subsequently activating the vibrating motor. A calendar alert set in the phone could also have triggered the vibrator and therefore the bomb as well.

This led us to wonder, just how technologically savvy are today's terrorists? And how could businesses, both public and private, be threatened by and protected against technically proficient extremists?

Tech guides for bad deeds

In recent times, the internet has become an ideal place for both subterfuge and protest. In a recent investigation into web graffiti, IT PRO came across a number of radical groups defacing public websites right here in the UK, as they sought to spread their message of discontent at the actions of Western countries.

And the web is an ideal medium for terrorists to communicate with one another, just as non-radical groups get in touch with one another using internet-based services such as social networking and instant messaging, for instance.

IT PRO managed to view some copies of Inspire magazine, a web-distributed publication aimed at potential jihadis, although written in English. This Al Qaeda publication is attempting to disseminate the radical group's message to Western-based Muslims and subsequently recruit them.

Inspire is a glossy piece of publishing, with interviews, news and features, although we have it on good authority that trying to find the magazine and then download it could be dangerous for the user's computer. So, don't try this at home.

Featured Resources

The state of Salesforce: Future of business

Three articles that look forward into the changing state of Salesforce and the future of business

Free Download

The mighty struggle to migrate SAP to the cloud may be over

A simplified and unified approach to delivering Enterprise Transformation in the cloud

Free Download

The business value of the transformative mainframe

Modernising on the mainframe

Free Download

The Total Economic Impact™ Of IBM FlashSystem

Cost savings and business benefits enabled by FlashSystem

Free Download

Recommended

How do wireless printers work?
Hardware

How do wireless printers work?

11 Aug 2022
How do laser printers work?
peripherals

How do laser printers work?

11 Aug 2022
HP Deskjet 2710e review: A cheap compact printer that won’t exceed your expectations
peripherals

HP Deskjet 2710e review: A cheap compact printer that won’t exceed your expectations

29 Jul 2022
How to add a printer to macOS
operating systems

How to add a printer to macOS

22 Jul 2022

Most Popular

Cyber attack on software supplier causes "major outage" across the NHS
cyber attacks

Cyber attack on software supplier causes "major outage" across the NHS

8 Aug 2022
Why convenience is the biggest threat to your security
Sponsored

Why convenience is the biggest threat to your security

8 Aug 2022
How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode
Microsoft Windows

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode

29 Jul 2022