Cheat sheets

Notepad++ site hacked by a pro jihad group

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The website of the popular Notepad++ editor was hacked and defaced by hacktivists protesting against the recently released “Je suis Charlie” edition.

Members of the Tunisian  hacking crew named “Hackers of the Fallaga Team” have compromised and defaced a large number of French websites following the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack.

Hundreds of French websites have been targeted by Islamist hackers over the past days to respond the cyber attacks launched by the Anonymous collective during its anti-jihadist campaign #opCharlieHebdo.

The website of Notepad++ was the target of the hacking campaign because the company decided to release a special edition for the incident, the version 6.7.4, “Je suis Charlie” edition“. In the following image is visible the defacement operated by the hackers that, according Don Ho, the France-based developer of Notepad++, the attackers have not compromised the infrastructure of the popular websites neither have distributed any malicious binaries of the debated “Je suis Charlie” edition.

Notepad Charlie Ed hacked

The hackers in fact breached only a front-end server inserting the logo of the FallaGa Team, but the binaries of the application were stored on a different infrastructure.

“The message of the defacement accused Notepad++ of inciting hatred towards Islam and accusing Islam of supporting terrorism. The statements of Notepad++ ‘Je suis Charlie’ edition support nothing but the freedom of expression and only that. The fact of Notepad++ supporting the ‘Je suis Charlie’ movement has nothing to do with any accusation towards a specific community,” Ho wrote on the Noteplus ++ website. “In fact the ‘Je suis Charlie’ movement in France, as far as I can tell, deserves no label of racism or of Islamophobia. I have many Muslim friends who are for ‘Je suis Charlie’. And sincerely, I don’t think that two extremist fools can stand for all Muslims or Islam itself,” he added.

Ho explained that every user can anyway continue to use the version 6.7.3 if don’t like the “Je suis Charlie” edition because both versions have exactly the same features.

Fortunately, the observed attacks were limited to deface the targeted websites, but we cannot exclude that cyber jihadists could compromise a website to serve malware and infect their visitors. Anonymous has recently announced that they will disclose the identities and locations of member of the most crowled online jihadist communities, one of the most effective techniques is the hacking of websites visited by muslims and serving a malware in a classic watering hole attack schema. A similar technique could be used also by Intelligence agencies and law enforcement to track “persons of interest” that could be linked to terrorist cells.

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs –  Notepad ++, Charlie Hebdo)

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