Sunday, March 8, 2015

Death to the bicycles of the infidels !!

In 2007, Paris introduced a system of public bicycles, called vélib’  (‘free bikes’), available gratis for sharing.   Quite a welcome gesture for a crowded city with many narrow streets.   But the response by certain subpopulations  was disturbing:

By August 2009, of 20,600 bikes introduced into service, about 16,000 – some 80% of the total – had been replaced due to vandalism or theft.

As for who-all was doing the damage, you can look it up in the English Wikipedia (the French version tries to blur it a bit):  basically, the banlieusards of the quartiers sensibles, c-à-d  pour la plupart d’origine maghrébine  ou bien tsigane.   A sort of year-round counterpart to the same population’s annual traditional Saint-Sylvestre plat du jour of voitures brûlées à la mode des cités.  Outside of France, not news.

But now, reportedly, (reportedly, note), ISIL -- amid all the other distractions of running a caliphate and chopping off heads and repelling an army offensive in Iraq -- has actually taken the time to hack the Vélib’ site:

Can’t make it up -- just can’t.  Tried;  couldn't.   
What is their beef, then -- that The Prophet didn’t ride a bicycle?

Velocipeda delenda est ! 

Sidenote:  France has already had experience with the fraught politics of bicycles, depicted here:

Bike-riding Bonzo :  Banned in France


Back to that “reportedly”.
The media, as we know, are wont to suffer from ejaculatio praecox.  Further, while you and I could not make that up -- a couple of cybersavvy teenagers in some banlieue basement  well might have.  It might well just be a lark.
And once again, some of the commenting readers are more acute than the journalist.  One notes the detail from the newspaper, “Le site piraté laisse également entendre des chants arabes en guise de fond sonore,” and comments that music-hating Salafis would scarcely do that.

That observation is valid, but requires refinement.  Cantillation of the Koran -- which may sound musical to our ears --   is everywhere prized.   Most Islamic groups (Hizballah, Palestinian, etc.) use political “anthems” (anâshîd) as part of their propaganda.  ISIL does too;  only, in general these are -- crucially -- a capella (as is tajwîd), the only additional ‘sound effects’ allowed being things like the sounds of horses’ hooves or gunfire.  ISIL has explicitly criticized the use by other groups of instrumental backing to their anthems. -- As to what the “chants arabes” may have been like here, dunno, the site has been taken down.   [Update:  Le Figaro alertly reports “En fond sonore on peut entendre un "nasheed" (poème chanté en arabe a capella).”]

A reader comments:
En attendant c'est exactement le meme logo que celui qui a ete mis sur les site web de 2 restaurants ici a Cincinnati, OHIO, USA cet apres midi. Drole de coincindence...

[Mise à jour 10 mars 2015] Et maintenant chez nous aussi, même procédure:

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Hackers claiming to be with ISIS have taken over the Indianapolis Downtown Artist and Dealers Association website.
IDADA is a local art nonprofit. When someone visits its website, the ISIS logo and Arabic writing appear at the top of the page and then music begins playing. The website also has a message in English that says “Hacked by the Islamic State (ISIS). We are everywhere ;)”

Cela n’est peut-être qu’une blague.  On verra.

[Update 12 April 2015]  If that attack on the vélib’  site was indeed connected to ISIL (still unclear), perhaps the point of it was by way of a trial run for last week’s much more significant hacking of TV5Monde, blacking-out its broadcasts and hijacking its Facebook and Twitter accounts as well.
That the hackers were able to do this is rather remarkable, given that Le Monde had been hacked about a month before,  and that TV5Monde itself had been warned by Anssi just a week before the attack.  You’d think they might have firmed up their firewalls or something;  but guess not.

Linguistic oddity:  The banner which the hackers put up (along with the Caliphate flag) read:    “Je suis ISIS”.    ISIS is strictly an English acronym, never used in French.  -- We have noted other cases of English being used in protestors’ slogans, as a kind of APO lingua franca.

This latest attack has received very little media play in the US;  but others have noticed.  This, from a long-time Lebanon-based feuilletoniste:

Un viol. Point n'est besoin d'être francophile, ou même seulement francophone, pour avoir ressenti comme tel l'attaque cybernétique d'une ampleur sans précédent lancée jeudi contre TV5-Monde, qui a vu son écran parasité, et ses sites Internet neutralisés durant plusieurs heures.

Faisant suite à l'hécatombe de Charlie-Hebdo, cette agression vise de toute évidence à châtier la France pour le rôle actif qu'elle joue dans la lutte contre l'État islamique. Significatifs à cet égard sont les pièces d'identité et autres documents administratifs exhibés de menaçante manière par les pirates et censés montrer des proches de militaires français. Mais c'est aussi au rayonnement culturel de la France, la France des idéaux républicains, celle du french way of life (mille excuses, la francophonie !) qu'ont voulu s'en prendre les jihadistes en ciblant une institution médiatique qui, forte de ses partenariats avec des chaînes canadiennes, suisse et belge, a accès à 250 000 foyers de par le monde.
-- Issa Goraieb, “Pirates en stock”


Another flag-heralded hacking -- but this one with a different flag:

[12 April 2015]  Oh, and now this -- this one apparently flagless:

A group has claimed  responsibility for hacking the Hobart International Airport website and defacing it with a statement supporting the radical group Islamic State.

Readers comment:

Sounds like isis is way ahead of the world in hacking (they even appear to out hack Russian criminals). Too bad Anonymous never lived up to their statement of bringing these guys down. You'd think there would be hackers somewhere in the world who would find bringing isis to its knees a challenge.
Tasmania's airport? They'll be trying to bring down Easter Island next!

No comments:

Post a Comment