America's War On Terrorism

Bin Laden Info Found in Sudan bank by a  Hacker

By Ned Stafford, Newsbytes.

U.K.-based hackers has cracked computers at the AlShamal Islamic Bank in Sudan and ollected data on the accounts of the Al Qaeda terrorist organization and its leader Osama bin Laden, Kim Schmitz, a flamboyant German hacker/businessman, has claimed.

Schmitz, who has offered a $10 million reward for the capture of bin Laden, told Newsbytes that the information has been turned over to the FBI. Bin Laden, a millionaire Saudi exile whose base is now Afghanistan, is suspected of being the driving force behind the deadly Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon with hijacked planes.

Newsbytes could not confirm Schmitz's claim. An FBI spokesman in Washington declined to confirm or deny the story, saying that the agency's policy is not to comment on information and leads it is receiving.
"We have received a lot of information on this case," he told Newsbytes. "Of course we appreciate the leads we are receiving from the public, but we cannot confirm what specific information has been provided to us or by whom."

Schmitz, 27, a former teen hacking prodigy who spent time behind bars before starting a successful data security business, has been accused of being press hungry. He says his recent strong anti-terrorism pronouncements are not a PR prank, but stem from his strong desire to wipe out terrorism. He says he has received death threats from the Middle East.

The bank Schmitz claimed was hacked was mentioned Wednesday by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich. during a Senate Banking Committee hearing. According to CNN, Levin referred to a 1996 State Department report that said bin Laden had provided the AlShamal Islamic Bank with $50 million in start-up capital.

Schmitz told Newsbytes that he could not provide details about what hackers found in AlShamal Islamic Bank's computers or about the hackers themselves.Nonetheless, he provided Newsbytes with the following outline of what he says happened.

Last week, Schmitz, who lives in Munich, posted letters on his Web site rallying politicians to the cause of fighting terrorism and offering his hacking expertise.

"I received plenty of e-mails from hackers around the world offering their services," he said.

Schmitz founded a group that numbers around 23 hackers called "Young Intelligent Hackers Against Terror." He calls the group YIHAT, which is similar to the word Jihad, which is Arabic for a scared mission that western media wrongly translate it as Holy War.Schmitz said that last Friday, a Sudanese banker sent the group an e-mail after reading about the $10 million reward, informing the group that Al Qaeda and bin Laden have accounts at AlShamal Islamic Bank.

A team of U.K.-based hackers sprang into action, and hacked the nameserver of AlShamal Islamic Bank, he said. They were able to gain access to the bank's intranet by exploiting a "checkpoint firewall 1 vulnerability," he explained.

After bypassing the firewall, the hackers achieved "superuser" status on the server, and "sniffed" eight valid user IDs, and then were able to collect information on accounts of Al Qaeda and bin Laden.

"This information was sent to the authorities in the USA," Schmitz said.Schmitz sent the following e-mail to the Webmaster at the AlShamal Islamic Bank: "dear webmaster of sudans shamalbank, "your bank has been hacked. information regarding Al Qaeda's and bin Ladens 
accounts have been captured. all information reached the US authorities. thanks for using products from checkpoint (firewall1).

"have a nice day, Kim "Kimble" Schmitz, Founder of "Young Intelligent Hackers Against Terror" YIHAT". When asked which authorities received the information from the hackers, 
Schmitz said: "FBI." He said that authorities had not given the hackers a "green light" to 
undertake the hacking, that the group had done so on its own initiative. Schmitz said the U.K.-based hackers wish to remain anonymous. "I am the spokesperson of the group," he said. "They don't want to be involved with the press. What they do is illegal, unless we find a 
government that legalizes our activities."

And somewhat mysteriously, he added: "If I would deliver details about the hacks, I could get arrested. I am not hacking myself, because that is illegal. I must keep myself out of the details to make sure that I am still able to offer them the communication platform they need to fight as united hackers of the world against terror."

AlShamal Islamic Bank Home Page 
Kim Schmitz's Personal Web Site
Schmitz Letter to governments around the world
Schmitz Reward For Osama Bin Laden 
Reported by Newsbytes.com

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