JSalloum on 26 Oct 2000 17:43:25 -0000


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[Nettime-bold] Cyber attack



                       Arabs unify in ‘cyber-war’ against Israel
                       Hackers crash Israel's most high-profile
                       websites

                       Ranwa Yehia
                       Daily Star staff

                       Arab internet users all over the world succeeded in
                       crippling two major Israeli websites on Wednesday in
                       an attempt to counter-attack Israel’s efforts to
                       overload Hizbullah websites.
                       Alerted by an article published in The Daily Star on
                       Tuesday detailing how Israelis have established a
                       site to attack Hizbullah’s, Arab users began a
                       counter-offensive. By 1pm Wednesday, the main
                       Israeli government website (www.israel.org) and the
                       Israeli Foreign Ministry’s website
                       (www.israel-mfa.gov.il) had been downed by hackers.
                       The Jerusalem Post website issued a report at 2.10pm
                       confirming that the Israeli Foreign Ministry website
                       was down.
                       “Spam (overloading) and hacker assaults have also
                       been detected on a number of other government sites
                       as well as the IDF (Israel Defense Force) website.
                       Ministry sources told Israel Radio the attackers
                       were traced to “Islamic internet sites,” according
                       to the Jerusalem Post.
                       An Israeli Foreign Ministry official said: “The site
                       itself was not damaged, but at the moment, no one
                       can access it.”
                       The official said the website attack could be traced
                       to a “pro-Palestinian and pro-Shiite Muslim” website
                       in the US that urged internet users to flood the
                       Foreign Ministry site.
                       Several local internet service providers (ISPs) had
                       published The Daily Star article early Wednesday.
                       Activity was detected soon afterward, with the
                       article being widely circulated through e-mail.
                       Chat rooms frequented by Arab users throughout the
                       world were also mobilized, with information about
                       how to attack Israeli websites posted and updates on
                       which websites have already been targeted.
                       “If we continue like this, we should arrive at a
                       time when an Israeli website is crippled every hour.
                       This is our new battle,” said one internet user who,
                       like others interviewed, requested anonymity.
                       Another internet programmer said that the attack
                       against Israeli websites was more professional than
                       the attack staged by Israeli supporters over the
                       past two weeks to cripple Hizbullah websites.
                       “While the Israelis and their supporters simply
                       overloaded Hizbullah websites and those related to
                       the resistance and intifada to eventually cripple
                       them, our attack was destructive,” he said.
                       The programmer explained that Lebanese hackers
                       detected the security loophole on the Israeli
                       websites, allowing them to have full control over
                       all data on these sites.
                       “Hence, all data was deleted,” the programmer said.
                       Another difference is that while it requires
                       thousands of Israeli supporters to overload a
                       Hizbullah or resistance related website, it can take
                       one person using one single dial-up connection to
                       hack and crash an Israeli website.
                       “Both are illegal, but this is war,” the programmer
                       said.
                       By 10pm Wednesday, the two Israeli websites were
                       still down.
                       The Jerusalem Post reported earlier Wednesday that
                       “the newest Arab target is Israel’s virtual
                       government.”
                       The English-language daily quoted an Israeli Foreign
                       Ministry official as saying that the ministry’s site
                       was “neutralized for several hours late Monday night
                       by a flood of intentional web traffic, most likely
                       e-mail messages and requests.”
                       The attack has caused the near-total collapse of
               [Image] Israel’s ISP system, according to the Jerusalem
                       Post.
                       Arab internet users are making sure they stage their
                       attacks from individual PCs or internet cafes to
                       reduce the possibilities of an Israeli
                       counter-attack that would cripple their systems.
                       One such person, identifying himself as Walid, said
                       he intended to hack the Knesset server late
                       Wednesday night. “We’ll target and hack Israeli
                       websites one by one. This will continue,” he said.
                       Walid added that the attacks may get fiercer, with
                       an e-mail war between Israel and Arabs seeing an
                       exchange of viruses designed to crash systems.
                       More websites are being built to attack Israeli
                       sites. One is www.ummah.net/unity/defend/. Its front
                       page has Hizbullah’s logo with the word “UNITY.”
                       Similar to an earlier website,
                       www.members.tripod.com/irsa2000, it instructs users
                       to target Israeli websites by pressing on a button
                       that would initiate hits on these sites every second
                       in an attempt to overload and eventually cripple
                       them.
                       An e-mail circulated about the website urges users
                       to log on and help defend Hizbullah.
                       Hackers have since broken into a Hizbullah website
                       which was downed last week, www.hizballa.org, and
                       replaced its home page with an image of an Israeli
                       flag and an instrumental recording of “Hatikva,” the
                       Israeli national anthem.
                       The website’s front page said: “This page was
                       uploaded to protest against the Arabic attacks in
                       the past few days.”

                       Related stories

                          * Israeli website tries to shut down Hizbullah’s
                                                                DS 26/10/00
               
            
                      Copyright© 2000 The Daily Star. All rights reserved.


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