A hacker in Maryland used his computer to attack al-Qaeda.Using ordinary Web tools, Jon Messner, was able to take overthe domian name of al-Qaeda’s website www.alneda.com. Heobtained ownership of the site on July 16 in the short timeit took al-Qaeda to transfer from a server in Malaysia to anew host in India. “It was a slippery bastard, but I’ve gotit now,” he says. “I own alneda.com.”

The site contained editorials by al-Qaida leaders, a messageboard that may have contained hidden coded signals, andphotos, audio files and videos of Osama bin-Laden. He madeonly one change: “I put very simple CGI tracking on thesite, so for five days I could trace back to nearly everyhostile Islamic message board and website on the Internet.”

Visitors believed www.alneda.com was still the real al-Qaedasite for 5 days, until the original webmaster posted awarning message. “He told them it was a trap, not to gothere, the infidels were tracking their information, theyhad taken control of the domain and stay away,” saysMessner. ?The jig was up.? Since his cover was blown, hereplaced the information on the site with a picture of theGreat Seal of the United States and “Hacked, tracked and nowowned by the USA.”

When Messner took control of alneda.com, he immediatelycontacted the FBI. “The frustrating part was that it took mefive days to actually talk to someone who had a workingknowledge of the Internet, and by that time the opportunitywas gone,? he says. ?I had an exact duplicate of their siteup. And they thought it was theirs.”

Is the FBI ever going to get with it? Read why they?re sofar behind in ?The Bureau: The Secret History of the FBI? byRonald Kessler,click here.

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