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May 22, 2015 / 4 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘anonymous’

Plot Thickens in Sony Pictures North Korea Hack Attack Saga

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

The plot appears to be thickening in the Sony-North Korea hack attack saga.

A cascade of events has followed the FBI’s accusation that North Korea is behind the attacks – and threats – aimed at preventing Sony Entertainment Pictures from releasing its comedy film, ‘The Interview.’

North Korea now seems to be experiencing widespread Internet outages. An expert quoted by Associated Press said late Monday the country’s online access was “completely down.”

National Security Council spokesperson Bernadette Meehan said, “We have no new information to share regarding North Korea today. If in fact North Korea’s Internet has gone down, we’d refer you to that government for comment.”

The White House also had no comment. Referring to U.S. government responses to recent threats from North Korea, State Department spokesperson Marie Harf told reporters enigmatically, “Some will be seen, some may not be seen.”

On Friday, a government official quoted by The New York Times said the U.S. would ask China to block North Korea’s Internet access as a means of dealing with the threats emanating from Pyongyang.

“What we are looking for is a blocking action, something that would cripple their efforts to carry out attacks,” the official said. According to the report, virtually all of North Korea’s telecommunications run through Chinese-operated networks.

China has already condemned the movie, calling it an act of “senseless cultural arrogance.”

It is also hard to gauge China’s reaction to any U.S. request to rein in North Korea, given that five hackers working for the Chinese military were indicted by the Justice Department in May. They were charged with stealing sensitive information from U.S. companies.

Nevertheless, North Korean Internet accessibility appears to be down, at least for now.

Meanwhile, a hacker that might be associated with the well-known Anonymous hacker collective claimed on Twitter from an account that was suspended over the weekend, @TheAnonMessage, that i t would release the movie, “The Interview” this Thursday over the Internet anyway – just as a “Christmas present” to web surfers.

“We’re not with either side, we just want to watch the movie too… Banning movies only because North Korea’s dictator disapproves. What’s next, @RedDawnFilm?”

The sneers came in response to the latest nasty message sent to the FBI from the Guardians of Peace (GOP) hacker group, believed to be a front for North Korea.

(Yes I know it’s hard to keep all these threads straight – it may help to think of it as a war between the Crips and the Bloods.)

“Praising” the FBI for its investigation, the GOP hacker group sent a link to a video which repeats !”“You are an idiot,” over and over in animated lettering.

Enter Anonymous.

A message to Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton from that group was posted on the ‘Pastebin’ site (where GOP has been posting) this past Friday. This time Sony is being exhorted to “release The Interview as planned” or Anonymous will “carry out as many hacks” as possible to Lynton and Sony Entertainment.

Neither threat can be verified; they were both posted on the Pastebin website in plain text, and could have been written by anyone. Neither is traceable.

But as the Mashable website points out, members of the LulzSec hackers affiliated with Anonymous were convicted for involvement in a 2011 hack attack on Sony Pictures.

The current saga actually began in June when North Korea demanded the White House intervene with Sony and squelch production of The Interview, a comedy about assassinating North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un. It was scheduled for release this Thursday, December 25.

When the U.S. government did not stop producers, and the movie was completed, a massive hack attack was carried out against Sony. Emails containing information from company executives and employees plus other corporate data was released to the public along with a warning not to screen the movie, “The Interview” in any theater.

Israel’s ‘Deep Ties’ With US Will Continue

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the Knesset on Wednesday that Israel’s “deep ties” with the United States will continue.

Netanyahu reassured lawmakers that the strong bond between the two countries would weather the current “crisis” claimed Tuesday in an article published in The Atlantic quoting an anonymous senior staffer in the Obama White House.

“The safety of Israel is not important to those who anonymously attack us and me personally,” Netanyahu told the special session, held in memory of former Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze’evi, assassinated 13 years ago.

“I stand for our safety and security interests.”

Netanyahu added that he values and respects “our deep ties with the United States” and promised that strategic ties between Israel and America will continue.

Cyber Attack on Israel Fails to Cripple Websites

Monday, April 7th, 2014

A coordinated cyber-attack on Israeli websites led by the international hacking group Anonymous has so far been relatively ineffective.

It announced that Monday would be “Operation Israel,” or “OpIsrael,” a day of targeting Israeli websites in retaliation for Israel’s “assault on the people of Gaza.”

“On April 7, 2014, we call upon our brothers and sisters to hack, deface, hijack, database leak, admin takeover, and DNS terminate the Israeli Cyberspace by any means necessary,” Anonymous said in a message posted on YouTube. “We will not stop until the police state becomes a free state and Palestine is free.”

The websites of the Israel postal service and the Education Ministry came down briefly, and the hackers also published on line a list of phone numbers, emails and passwords of senior Israeli officials.

Anonymous posted as message that Israel must “cease and desist any further military action and illegal settlements or the consequences will become worse with each passing hour.”

The attack comes exactly one year after an identical attack launched against Israel by Anonymous. Last year’s attack took down dozens of Israeli websites and saw published online a list of hundreds of Israeli email addresses and credit card numbers.

Hacked: Anonymous Falsely Outed Thousands of Arabs as ‘Collaborators’

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Riad Yasmina, who writes for the Dubai-based website ITP, announced, back on April 7, that the group ‘Anonymous’ had managed to get a list containing the names of 37 thousand Mossad agents deployed around the world, and has disseminated the same list to many like-minded Internet websites for publication.

You may recall that Anonymous announced the day before that it started its major campaign to wipe Israel off the internet and has hit a large number of Websites belonging to the Israeli government. The whole thing lasted a few hours, causing some discomfort to users, but Israel’s Internet providers were able to block the attack handily and the websites were back online within minutes, give or take a half hour.

Yasmina celebrated this, announcing that the Anonymous group also “gained access to credit cards belonging to Israelis, and disabled many of the major sites of Israeli companies and banks.”

Why she would be so delighted that the credit card information of innocent civilians be hacked I’m not so sure, but in reality none of that took place in any significant measure, according to many news sources.

But the best part of this entire article, comes at the end:

“Correction of the news: Unfortunately, after we published this news, we recently received numerous complaints from our brothers the Palestinian Arabs inside the 1948 borders, including from individuals who are most hostile to the Zionist entity, saying that their names were mentioned in the list (of collaborators). After checking to make sure with several sources regarding the list and its credibility, we discovered that it is false and has nothing to do with Mossad agents. The names may have been collected for other reasons, and perhaps leaked from any of the branches of the Israeli security.

“We are sorry if we caused any harm with this misleading information, it was because all of us took pleasure in the victory when we published the list, and we promise not to do it again.”

Ali Abunimah, Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada, sworn ally to any Jew hater in the cosmos, related the following tale of horror:

M. arrived at work last Friday morning in a city in the north of present-day Israel. As she walked in, one of her colleagues approached her with a look of concern and asked her to step outside. “Your name is on a list of Mossad agents,” M. recalls the colleague saying.

“‘Then congratulate me,’ I said, thinking this was all a strange joke,” M. recalls responding.

But then M. found that many other people at her workplace were talking about a list, a file obtained by hackers and circulated on social media purporting to contain the names of agents of Israel’s notorious spy and assassination agency Mossad.

The vast majority of names on the list are Hebrew names of Israelis.

“I looked at the list, it had my name on it, my ID number and other details. By the end of the day everyone knew about it and was talking about it.”

M., however, is a Palestinian, a citizen of Israel, with an Arabic name – although like all the other names on the list her name was written in the Hebrew alphabet. She was stunned.

The false accusation or suspicion of being an Israeli agent can be absolutely devastating for any Palestinian.

The Electronic Intifada was able to independently verify the identity of M. Because of the serious implications for her and her family, M. agreed to speak to The Electronic Intifada on condition that we not use her real name or initials or identify the city where she lives.

“After work I went home and started to google this list and I was horrified by what I found,” M. said. “It was everywhere.”

M. doesn’t know how she got on the list but looking at it she thinks that the information could come from the database of a store’s loyalty card program or an online commerce site that was hacked into. “I saw the names of many companies as well as individuals on the list, including shoe stores and baby clothing stores.”

M. is not the only one affected in the Palestinian community. “My dad’s cousin is on the list as well, among many other people I know,” she said.

Panet, a website for Israeli Arabs, warned its readers that the list was fake, adding its own tale of horror:

The Arab resident of one of the villages in the Upper Galilee, clicked to news site Panorama, to discover his name in the list of Mossad agents. Sparking surprise and dismay, he said in an interview: “I was shocked after I noticed that my name and my details appear in the list of Mossad agents, and to my even greater surprise and dismay, some people I have dealt with were listed, too. This is pure fabrication and extremely dangerous.”

Sure it’s dangerous, because Arabs understand that in their society folks regularly reverse the order of asking questions and shooting.

According to Ali Abunimah, On Friday, March 22, the English-language account for The Red Hack, a group of Turkish activist hackers, announced that it would be releasing “a large file regarding Israel.”

Meanwhile, another the group Sector 404 was launching a denial of service attack on the Mossad’s public website (lots of exciting job opportunities there, by the way, including for all of you language majors).

The Red Hack announced that the list it had acquired included the personal information of 35,000 Israeli officials — and then anti-Israel bloggers and The Red Hack themselves were goading each other to make more ambitious claims, “until finally they were 35,000 Mossad agents,” writes Abunimah.

Abuminah traced the list (on a PDF file) to GaZa HaCHeR, who published it in late November, 2012. It turns out to be a list of 35,000 names, phone numbers, addresses and emails of Israeli customers of imported goods.

“All the names are in Hebrew, but are accompanied by email addresses and phone numbers in Latin characters giving it all an air of authenticity,” explains Abunimah, adding: “People who don’t speak Hebrew – almost certainly the vast majority of people circulating the list – would not have noticed that many of the names were those of businesses or Palestinians or that there was other information that points to this being a list of customers and not a list of government personnel.”

 

The Mystical Meanings of the Anonymous Hacking Attacks

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Much can be said about a name. Especially about a name which isn’t really a name at all. Whereas the heroes of Jewish history have had volumes written about them, sometimes it is those untold stories that seem the most compelling. Such was the case during the Purim saga (as related in the Book of Esther), where God’s name was not mentioned explicitly even once in the megillah.

Perhaps then it would be much better for all of us to be called anonymous? Maybe we should all keep our secret identities of ourselves? To the world we are Clark Kent, but secretly we really have untold super-powers.

Indeed, in Jewish law, sometimes it is most praiseworthy to do things anonymously. For instance, when giving tzedakah (charity), it is virtuous to do so discreetly so as not to embarrass the recipient. In general, those mitzvot (commandments and good deeds) done unnoticed, seem to have a greater potential to be carried out altruistically.

So on the surface, naming your activities “anonymous” doesn’t seem intrinsically wrong. In fact, it could be something most virtuous.

Two Types of Anonymous

Returning to the Purim saga, we can observe two representations of the “anonymous” concept. But as is the nature of most Purim related discussions, they tend to reside on opposite sides of the spectrum. On the good side, as mentioned, is the “anonymous” nature that God played during the story. Before the miracle of Purim, God Himself “hid His face” from Israel. By initially hiding one’s true identity, pretending to be someone else, the innermost essence of one’s true identity becomes revealed. On Purim we reach the level of the “unknowable head” (“the head that does not know itself nor is known to others”), the state of complete existential hidden-ness of self from self, for the sake of “giving birth” to one’s ultimate self anew.

It is clear, whether they consciously realize it or not, that this is the attraction behind the Anonymous group name and logo. But the source for the attraction to this concept doesn’t jive well with some or all of their activities. As mentioned, the purpose of this first type of anonymous is to ultimately benefit the world with a greater state of revelation. Individually, this means being able to reveal your secret identity in public; to “give birth” to your superhero self anew. On the macro level, this means making the name of God explicit from within a state of concealment. For out of the darkness of their trial, Mordechai, Esther and the entire Jewish people witnessed and revealed great Divine light to the world.

So if “anonymous” is to be capitalized, the best reason would be to reference the word to the “hidden face” state of God Himself during the exile of the Jewish people.

Above Nature

While it is true that some of the activities seem (at least on the surface) to present signs of altruism, many other activities are not mitzvot or good deeds at all. Such was the case with their #OpIsrael April 7th campaign timed to coincide with Holocaust Remembrance Day. They had promised to “launch a coordinated, massive cyber attack on Israeli targets with the intent of erasing Israel from the internet.”

The timing and wording of their campaign was reminiscent of the plot of the wicked Haman during Purim “to destroy, kill and annihilate all Jews, from young to old, infants and women, on a single day, on the 13th day of the 12th month, the month of Adar.”

While the date of the 13th of Adar was selected by drawing lots (the name “purim” is Persian for “lots”), Haman was very happy with the results. Adar was a month without Jewish holidays. Also the 7th of Adar was the day when the great leader of Israel, Moses, passed away. What he failed to realize, however, was that the 7th of Adar was also the day when Moses was born. Such began the reversal of fortune that led to Haman and his sons being hanged on the gallows that he himself built.

It is explained at length in Hassidut, how the motivation for casting lots is the drive to reach a place above choice. Instead of choosing the month and date, he was attempting to reach a state above nature and reason. So too seems the case with this campaign from this formless hactivist group. While the organizers realize (in one way or another) that the God of Israel protects His children, they are hoping that this date is similar to the “month without holidays” of the Purim story. Whereas Haman realized that the God of Israel protects His children when they are observing the festivals, he had hoped this the 13th of Adar would be different. Additionally, the timing of this campaign prior to the start of Holocaust Remembrance Day on the 28th of Nissan, seems to relate to Haman’s happiness at knowing that Moses passed away in Adar.

But likely unbeknownst to them, the 28th of Nissan, in some ways, is the most auspicious time of the year to counter and transform the threats and trials leveled against the Jewish people, and reveal our super-powers. This is the day when the Lubavitcher Rebbe handed over the task of bringing mashiach to us.

Identity Crisis

So who is Anonymous? There are two extremes. There are those well-meaning individuals, who are trying to make a difference in the world for the better. Then there are the hate mongers, who are using this cover to carry out their nefarious plans. Unfortunately, one doesn’t need to look far to see the greatest representation of Haman today (Just instead of the Persian Empire, we now call it Iran). So those leading this campaign likely most associate with Iran (whether they presently live there or not).

The other observation is that this and other similar campaigns has left idealist hackers feeling homeless. Increasingly, they are looking for a place they can call home apart from the hate mongers. This explains the recent interest in legitimizing and legalizing certain forms of hactivism.

Virtual Threats

The final lesson from our discussion is that just as this campaign was targeted at cyber or virtual space, the other threats coming out of Iran and others are just as virtual.

Ultimately, the great reversal of fortune will occur, and much like the Purim story where “the Jews experienced light and joy, gladness and honor” [Esther 8:16], the same will occur again speedily in our days.

Author’s note: this submission relied on sources and information from the website inner.org.

#OPIsrael Cyberattack: Hackers Mostly #Fail

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

The Hackers group Anonymous on Saturday night tried to make good on their threats and began to knock down a large number of Israeli websites, including government offices – for a few minutes at least. But mostly it’s more bluster than success.

Anonymous, in collaboration with pro-Palestinian cyber-terrorists initiated an attack on government sites and large organizations in Israel as “revenge” for Israel’s role in the Palestinian conflict, but really its about their Antisemitism.

Among other websites, they knocked down for a brief period of time include the Ministry of Defense’s, and the Ministry of Education’s, the Israeli EPA’s, military-industry’s, and the Central Bureau of Statistics’ websites.

They also took down the Israeli Cancer Association’s website and dozens of small Israeli sites. At some of the sites the hackers left pro-Palestinian messages and loud music.

The El Al website was downed as well, and that is one of the few that actually took a long time to go back online.

Access to some websites have slowed down, presumably due to the massive attacks, but they did not collapse.

Most of the sites returned to full activity after several minutes, a couple after several hours.

In fact, many of the sites the hackers are claiming via Twitter, that they’ve taken down, are actually working fine. Israel has been employing a number of tricks that have kept the cyber attacks at bay.

The Anti-Jewish Hacktivists are also publicizing what they claim are login passwords for various sites.

So far it appears that #OpIsrael is more bluster than success.

 

Israel’s security apparatus was prepared to face the cyber attack took place. There is concern among security experts that the attack, which began Saturday night, will encourage hackers and terrorist organizations around the world to join the “Anonymous” efforts, making it difficult for Israel’s security systems to withstand the pressure.

According to instructions given employees in the Defense Ministry and other outfits, work today might be disrupted in various computerized systems, and there may be some cessation of operations, in order to perform evaluations of incoming attacks.

A senior security official said in a closed forum a few days ago, that intelligence has been gathered against hackers and other entities that may participate in the attack. On Sunday there will be an assessments of the attack, to optimize the defenses and minimize the damage that may disrupt the systems’ activities.

 

On the other side of the fence, WhiteHat Israeli hackers have taken down or hacked a number of anti-Israeli sites in retaliation, including the OpIsrael website where they added facts about Israel and had the site play Hatikvah.

#ZionistHackers Defeating #OpIsrael

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

Last week ago I wrote about #OpIsrael the “planned new cyber attack against Israel”. My article ended by noting that “there will be plenty of Israeli geeks looking forward to the challenge – and quite capable of coming out on top”. I also tweeted my article to one of the Iranian backed anti-Israel hacker groups I mentioned and to one of the Anonymous news services. #OpIsrael was tagged as well. So to the anti-Israel hackers, don’t say I didn’t warn you that #OpIsrael was a really bad idea.

Sure enough, as #OpIsrael got underway, the official #OpIsrael site, www.opisrael.com, was hacked and is now playing Hatikvah.

The page was hacked by EhIsR and also contains a 20 point list of arguments in support of Israel (see below). Unlike the simple defacements that have typically targeted Israeli sites, this hack claims to have also destroyed all the data on the targeted server. This makes it a more serious attack, but in EhIsR’s defense  this was effectively an attack on an enemy infrastructure in a war like situation where as the attacks on NGOs and civilian infrastructure are more akin to targeting civilians.

EhIsR is not the only pro-Israel hacker, let’s call them Zionist Hackers, having a field day today. Not all are taking such an ethical approach to choosing their targets.

On the Israeli side as well, some hackers are going after soft targets or sites that for humanitarian reasons should be left out of any online war. As part of the pro-Israel response sites like the Palestinian Authority’s Medical Service website and a commercial site in Egypt have been hacked. A group called ‘Israel Elite Force’ claim to have taken down a range of sites in Pakistan. There are no doubt many more, and the day is still young.

While the Israeli hackers clearly have the technical skills that match or surpass those targeting Israel, the public diplomacy skills are still somewhat lacking.

A 20 point list of reasoned arguments shared in a defacement of a site that will be visited by those seeking to attack Israel, is not likely to convince anyone. Anti-Israel defacements typically use images, often fake or from different conflicts entirely, that display blood, guts, and gore and claim Israel is responsible for it. In other words, they use not just a technical means of sharing a message, but also demonization of Israel and a strong dose of victim-hood to spread their message.

The Zionist hackers like EhIsR are responding not with hate but with reason. It’s a shame that for most of the world such an approach is unlikely to be effective.

A better approach may have been to set off code red sirens and pictures of school children rushing for cover. More effective still, ethically more questionable, would have been a focus on the impact of terrorism. Israel avoids the publication of highly graphic images showing the aftermath of violence. An effort is made to get on with life. Perhaps not sharing this side of the conflict is a mistake. It promotes Israel’s toughness and resilience, but in the international community that simply makes Israel a legitimate target for further abuse.

The message that these Zionist hackers are ultimate projecting is the same message Israel has always gives in conventional warfare. The message says, “we’re tougher than you think, and attacking us is a really bad idea”. It may help security, but more is needed to win hearts and minds. For now though, I’m sure they’re celebrating their success… or at least they will be when they are finally done.

Here are EhIsR arguments:

1. Israel became a nation in 1312 BCE, two thousand years before the rise of Islam.

2. Arab refugees in Israel began identifying themselves as part of a Palestinian people in 1967, two decades after the establishment of the modern State of Israel.

3. Since the Jewish conquest in 1272 BCE, the Jews have had dominion over the land for one thousand years with a continuous presence in the land for the past 3,300 years.

4. The only Arab dominion since the conquest in 635 CE lasted no more than 22 years.

5. For over 3,300 years, Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital Jerusalem has never been the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Even when the Jordanians occupied Jerusalem, they never sought to make it their capital, and Arab leaders did not come to visit.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/zionisthackers-defeating-opisrael/2013/04/07/

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