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June 03, 2011

Finally an Intelligent Use for Cupcakes: Hacking Terrorist Sites

Posted in: Uncategorized

I am so over cupcakes. They are twee, precious and ghastly. Which is why I revel in the hideous show Cupcake Wars where cutesy and/or sincere bakers compete to have their creations featured at a semi-high profile event, like a car show or fashion launch. The twist: Bakers must use ingredients inspired by the party–like roast turkey, red licorice, Cheetos, or popcorn. The failures are phenomenal, the critiques fabulously snarky. Unfortunately no one has called them “crap cakes” yet, but I still have half a season saved on DVR to hope for that.

Thankfully  the loathsomely adorable dessert has finally gone to war in a much better way, and not as substitute for grenades, though seriously, some are only suited for that.  No, now cupcakes have joined the War on Terror!

The British intelligence service MI6 hacked into Al Qaeda’s online English language magazine Inspire, produced by radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, and replaced the sugar-filled article “Make a bomb in the Kitchen of your Mom” with a page of recipes for “The Best Cupcakes in America” published by the Ellen DeGeneres chat show.

Nothing like a nice mojito cupcake slathered in vanilla butter cream frosting to convert a potentially violent villain into a peace loving hipster.

The Telegraph UK reports that the cyber squad also removed articles by Osama bin Laden, his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri and a piece called “What to expect in Jihad.” The United States, which knew of the Inspire website declined to get involved:

A Pentagon operation, backed by Gen Keith Alexander, the head of US Cyber Command, was blocked by the CIA which argued that it would expose sources and methods and disrupt an important source of intelligence, according to a report in America.

Inspire magazine was back online in two weeks, but agents will continue the merry prankstering. I hope they will consider substituting a few pages of Pamela Des Barres awesome rock n roll memoir I’m with the Band for an article on how to recruit for a terrorist cell….



[photo: creative commons, Rachel Kramer Bussel]

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