] Thursday 25 December 2003, 17:13 Makka Time, 14:13 GMT ] ] Saudis swoop on DIY bomb guide ] ] Authorities in the kingdom have arrested five people after ] raiding computer shops selling compact disks containing ] hidden bomb-making instructions, a local newspaper reported ] on Thursday. ] ] Police were questioning four owners of computer shops in the ] southern Jazan region and a fifth person believed to have ] supplied the CDs to the shops, Al-Watan newspaper said. ] ] Officials were not immediately available for comment. ] ] The daily said some of the shop owners might not have known ] about the bomb-making tutorial files hidden on the CDs. Only ] someone with technical knowledge would be able to find the ] files.
That was quoted from: http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/C8061E36-E4E5-4EB5-A103-19DCF838E835.htm and the same story, almost verbatim, was carried by Reuters. Comments: 1) This is not entirely unprecedented. Al Qaeda for years has been hiding recruitment and training footage in the middle of otherwise-innocuous video tape cassettes. 2) OTOH using a commercial distribution channel bespeaks a certain boldness ... somebody is "thinking big". 3) Also: as a rule, anything you do with computers generates more headlines than doing the same thing with lower-tech methods. This is significant to terrorists, who are always looking for headlines. Conversely it is significant to us, who have much to lose when our not-so-fearless leaders over-react. 4) One wonders how many CDs were distributed before the operation was terminated. 5) I wonder how the authorities found out about it. 6) The article speaks of technical skill ... I wonder how much technical skill was required. Probably not much. 7) Did it rely entirely on security-by-obscurity, or was there crypto involved also? (The latter is possible; whatever leak told the authorities where to look could also have told them the passphrase... but the article didn't mention crypto.) I suspect there is a lot more to this story...... --------------------------------------------------------------------- The Cryptography Mailing List Unsubscribe by sending "unsubscribe cryptography" to [EMAIL PROTECTED]