British spy agents reportedly hack Al Qaeda magazine, replacing its bomb-making instructions with recipes for cupcakes


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Hackers have been in the news a lot lately with high-profile attacks on Google, PBS and Sony.

Now comes a story by the Associated Press that reports British spy agents “managed to hack into the extremist Inspire magazine, replacing its bombmaking instructions with a recipe for cupcakes.”


Inspire is an English-language magazine that is said to be produced by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. According to the AP article, the publication is sent to websites and email addresses as a PDF file.

In its summer edition last year, Inspire featured an article titled ‘Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom.’ But British spy agents belonging to GCHQ infiltrated the pages and “corrupted” them, erasing the instructions and leaving the cupcake recipe in its place.

The Daily Telegraph in London also ran a story that said ‘the code, which had been inserted into the original magazine by the British intelligence hackers, was actually a web page of recipes for ‘The Best Cupcakes in America’ published by the Ellen DeGeneres chat show.’

The Telegraph article added that ‘the cyber attack also removed articles by Osama bin Laden, his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri and a piece called ‘What to expect in Jihad.’ ‘

According to the reports, there was no word on how the hackers did it or when. The stories rely on unnamed British government officials.



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-- W.J. Hennigan