Muslim hackers, angered by the publication of cartoons of the prophet Muhammad, have defaced nearly 3,000 Danish Web sites in the past month in what could be the biggest politically motivated cyberattack to date.
Those knowledgeable about the subject say the worldwide protests over a Danish newspaper’s decision to publish the caricatures may prove to be something of a coming-of-age moment for Internet mujahedeen—Islamic extremists committed to electronic terrorist attacks.
In addition to the Danish sites, thousands of Web sites in Europe and Israel have been defaced.
“This is the biggest, most intense assault,” Mr. Preatoni said, adding that it eclipsed the hacker attacks that accompanied the row over a U.S. spy plane forced down in China in 2001 and the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
He said the phenomenon represented “the emergence of the digital ‘umma,’ “ an Arabic term for the global Muslim community.
Some of the defacements supported the global boycott of Danish goods called by Muslim leaders after the decision of the government there to support the newspaper Jyllands-Posten’s decision to publish the caricatures.
A group calling itself the Internet Islamic Brigades included pictures of the July suicide bombings in London and the threat “I will bomb myself in Denmark very soon, as my brothers in Islam did in U.K.”