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[] Al Qaeda Hacked Microsoft,

Suspect Claims Al Qaeda Hacked Microsoft - Expert

By Brian McWilliams, Newsbytes
17 Dec 2001, 2:08 PM CST


A suspected member of the Al Qaeda terrorist network claimed that Islamic
militants infiltrated Microsoft and sabotaged the company's Windows XP
operating system, according to a source close to Indian police.
Mohammad Afroze Abdul Razzak, arrested by Mumbai (Bombay) police Oct. 2,
has admitted to helping plot terrorist attacks in India, Britain and
Australia, India's Hindustan Times newspaper reported Saturday.

During interrogation, Afroze, 25, also claimed that a member or members of
Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda network, posing as computer programmers, were
able to gain employment at Microsoft and attempted to plant "trojans,
trapdoors, and bugs in Windows XP," according to Ravi Visvesvaraya Prasad,
a New Delhi information systems and telecommunication consultant.

Prasad, moderator of an Internet mailing list on south Asia security and
information warfare, told Newsbytes that Afroze made the claims in a police

Officials in the Mumbai police commissioner's office were not immediately
available for comment.

Afroze has told Indian authorities that he was part of a team of Al Qaeda
terrorists that planned to hijack an aircraft in London on Sept. 11 and
crash it into the British House of Commons or into London's Tower Bridge,
according to the Hindustan Times, which obtained parts of Afroze's confession.

British intelligence officials have dismissed the claims, according to a
report last week in the Guardian, a British newspaper.

A defense attorney hired by Afroze's father, a tailor by profession,
reportedly asked the court to allow Afroze to receive a psychiatric
examination but was rejected.

Afroze, who is scheduled to provide a formal confession before a Mumbai
court on Tuesday, told the magistrate Friday that he does not wish legal
representation and is mentally sound, according to the Times of India.

Microsoft spokesman Jim Desler said Afroze's claims about the company were
"bizarre and unsubstantiated and should be treated skeptically."

According to Desler, Microsoft has rigorous processes in place during the
development of Windows to ensure the security and integrity of source code.

Microsoft launched Windows XP in late October. While the company has
already issued security patches for the software, no evidence of malicious
code in the operating system has been reported.

Under interrogation, Afroze also warned Mumbai police that Al Qaeda was
planning an attack on India's parliament complex in New Delhi, the
Hindustan Times reported.

On Thursday, terrorists stormed the Indian Parliament with grenades and
guns, killing seven people and injuring at least 20. The five attackers
were killed in the ensuing battle with security forces, according to The
Washington Post.

Afroze also told investigators that the team planned a similar attack on
Rialto Towers, the tallest building in Australia, according to Australia's
Herald Sun newspaper.

Afroze, who hails from a poor section of Mumbai, reportedly received
training as a pilot in Australia, the U.S. and the U.K. No information on
his technical education was immediately available.

The Times of India reported last week that "official sources" believe
Afroze is "very close" to Al Qaeda but that authorities find some of his
claims inconsistent and "too theatrical to believe."

The Mumbai Police Cyber Crime Investigation Cell is at .

Prasad's South Asia Security and Info War list is archived at .

Reported by Newsbytes, .

14:08 CST
Reposted 17:20 CST


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