01 Apr 2013

Muslim Group Takes American Express Down for YouTube Movie

A Muslim group took American Express down in a series of attacks against an offensive YouTube trailer, according to Ars Technica. On March 28, hacking group Izz ad-Din al-Qassam put the company’s web site offline for about two hours in a DDoS attack.

The group wants to take down a video posted on YouTube featuring what they consider misleading fragments of the movie “The Innocence of Muslims”. If the videos aren’t taken offline, they threaten to hack as many “properties of American-Zionist Capitalists” as possible.

“We experienced intermittent slowing on our website that would have disrupted customers' ability to access their account information,” an American Express representative said. “We had a plan in place to defend against a potential attack and have taken steps to minimize ongoing customer impact."

The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam launched the wave of attacks against financial institutions in the US at the beginning of September 2012. According to Ars Technica, the hackers use DDoS techniques different than those employed by Anonymous, which allow larger amounts of available bandwidth during cyber-attacks. The hacktivists prefer running their scripts on compromised web servers rather than botnets of vulnerable computers.