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Mideast Cyberwar Continues to Claim More Victims

Common Dreams staff

The hacked website of the Israel Festival (screenshot 1/25/2012)

Hackers continued to hit targets in the Middle East today, with the Web sites for Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz and the Israel Festival,  as well as two Israeli hospital Web sites, coming under attack.

Last Monday, hackers targeted the Tel Aviv stock exchange, several banks, and El Al Airlines.

Palestinian Anonymous members took credit for today's attack on their Twitter account. Now, Israeli hackers are threatening retribution.

The Jerusalem Post reports tonight:

Israeli hackers told The Jerusalem Post they are planning to respond to a hacking attack which occurred overnight Tuesday on the websites of two Israeli hospitals.

The websites of the Sheeba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer and the Assouta Medical Center in Tel Aviv were struck with a distributed denial of service (DDOS), in which servers are flooded by false requests for information, making them unavailable to others.

"We saw that attack. Soon, a response will come," a member of the 'IDF Team' hacking group told the Post on Wednesday evening. [...]

Israeli hackers have indicated that they may not stick to simple DDOS attacks in future, but instead seek to cause long-term damage to the servers of financial, government, and security websites in the Arab world, in the event of further attacks on Israeli sites.

Ha'aretz reports:

Also on Wednesday, the website of the Israel Festival was brought down. Pro-Palestinian hackers wrote "Free Palestine" in several parts of the site, and featured an image of the Israeli and American flag burning.

The cyber war kicked off in early January, when a hacker calling himself "OxOmar" published online the credit card details of thousands of Israelis, after breaking into what he said were more than 80 Israeli servers.

He said he was then joined by a group calling itself Nightmare, and went on to paralyze several Israeli websites, including that of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and Israel's El-Al International Airlines.

Pro-Israel hackers, for their part, published the log-in details of 20,000 Arab Facebook users, and said they had taken down websites in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.


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