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October 2, 2014 / 8 Tishri, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘cyber’

Going To War Against Anti-Israel Hackers

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

The real heroes of our age are pencil-protector geeks. They sit at home, behind their keyboards, determining the rules of the game that you and I live by – and we trust them to do so. They love toys. They love games. They enjoy battle. They are at the forefront of the cyber war that is enveloping the world.

And then there are the wannabees.

Worms. Viruses. They made headline news and were front-page stories. Now come the hackers. Banks, stock exchanges, airlines, private Facebook pages – nothing is sacred and nothing is safe.

Most hackers are just an inconvenience. Yes, some of the damage they do can be serious and they must be found and punished for their actions. But run-of-the-mill computer pranksters are called “script kiddies” by serious hackers.

The reason for the term is that they only follow the directions of hacking. They use tools found online for free. They do not buy, build or create software to hack. They hate to pay for anything. They hack for the fun of it. They often hack for the irritation they give and the glory they get from their friends. They are hacker groupies.

So far, most of the hacking that disables servers – and frightens most people with a credit card – has been nothing more than a minor inconvenience. A self-proclaimed Saudi hacker called OxOmar was said to have stolen 400,000 Israeli credit cards and identification numbers. In the end it was 20,000 and he actually only gathered them from sites that had collected the information from merchants who have very poor security. OxOmar did not hack the Israeli banks. And getting private information on people is equivalent to kindergarten hacking, not post graduate work.

Israel’s Tel Aviv Stock Exchange website was hacked, as was Israel’s national airline, El Al. Once again, a very important distinction must be made. It is the websites that were hit, not the data banks. Yes, they should have been better protected, but websites are full of content, not data.

As one analyst described it, websites are like bulletin boards with lots of post-its. Someone just came and took down your material and put up his own insulting and graphic messages. The really important and valuable material stayed in the safe.

Script-kiddie hacking is a form of vandalism akin to graffiti. There’s no thievery and no other invasion – like viruses and worms – occurs.

There are professional and highly paid hackers who have the backing of industry and governments. They are the IT geeks tasked with the responsibility of developing software to access vaults. The technology they develop costs untold millions of dollars to develop.

They job of these professionals is to make certain the national electric grid is safe and the communication networks are secure.

They work quietly and behind the scenes. They are not headline grabbers like OxOmar, the Saudi hacker whose stated goal is to hurt Israel. OxOmar says he is a hacker and this is what he knows and how he can achieve his goal. He has joined forces with a group of pro-Palestinian hackers called Nightmare and they have begun their attack.

Not a day goes by without an Israeli website being assaulted. Israel’s allies have also been targeted. Azerbaijan has been attacked. The material posted by these hackers on Azerbaijanian websites emphasize that Azerbaijan has chosen to be friendly with Israel and the United States. Azerbaijan has responded by saying that some people are jealous of its success. And that is exactly correct.

It was the level of amateurism displayed by their enemies that so annoyed many Israeli hackers who under normal circumstances would have let things be and considered these hacking episodes as nothing more than children’s games. But Nightmare and OxOmar have announced they are unstoppable and can and will wreak havoc on Israel, making life miserable for Israeli society unless Israel apologizes for a slew of historical events.

Israel has to hit the hackers back. And they will hit back. The Israelis, by virtue of the situation, will take it up a notch. Israeli professionals will have to search for these anti-Israel amateurs and destroy their ability to hack. They will dismantle their systems and unmask them. Anonymity is what hackers need more than anything else.

There is no doubt that warfare is changing. But there is still a need to defend and to intimidate. Countries like the United States and Israel must make it clear that it is not worth the price of breaking into their computer systems.

True hacking is a game for grown-ups. True hacking save lives and saves money, it doesn’t hurt unknowing and uninvolved individuals for the sake of saying “Look at me, see what I can do.”

Micah D. Halpern is a columnist and a social and political commentator. The author, most recently, of “Thugs,” he maintains The Micah Report (www.micahhalpern.com).

Israel Internet Defense Among Top Three in the World

Monday, January 30th, 2012

According to a report by the Financial Times, the Security and Defense Agenda think tank has ranked Israel as one of the three most cyber-secure countries in the world.

The Brussels-based think tank said Israel is on par with Finland and Sweden as having the best internet defenses for websites.

According to the study, though Israeli websites are attacked 1,000 times a minute on the internet, national strategies for cyber-defense are already in place and being successfully implemented.

The study comes in the wake of the recent upsurge in activity on the Arab-Israeli cyber-war front, and the announcement that the Israeli National Cyber Defense Authority was officially launched.

Cyber Attacks UPDATE: Anti-Israel Hackers Strike Israeli Hospitals’ Websites

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Anti-Israel hackers infiltrated the websites of two Israeli hospitals on Wednesday, paralyzing them for hours in the latest strike in the ongoing Arab-Israeli cyber war.

The websites of Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer and Assouta Medical Center in Tel Aviv were both taken offline in a manner similar to previous cyber attacks on Israeli websites, according to security sources. The websites have since been restored.

 

 

Israel Struck By Wave Of Cyber Attacks

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

JERUSALEM – Even as Mossad agents and a team of IDF cyber-warfare specialists began an intensive global hunt for “Ox Omar,” the alleged Saudi hacker who exposed the financial records of thousands of Israeli credit-card holders, the defiant cyber-terrorist launched a second wave of “virtual jihad” attacks on a number of Israeli websites including some government sites and those of El Al and several Israeli banks.

He also threatened to unleash his legion of pro-Palestinian hackers known as the “Nightmare Group” on Israel in order to “destroy” the Jewish state.

After Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said “Ox Omar” should be classified as an international terrorist and either arrested or eliminated by Israeli security services, Ox Omar taunted Ayalon.

“I want to harm Israel in any way possible,” he said during a web chat with a reporter from Ynet, Yediot Aharonot’s Internet news site. “No one will arrest me because it will be impossible to find me.”

Though Ox Omar managed to temporarily knock El Al, Discount Bank of Israel and First International Bank off the Internet and thousands of frustrated customers were unable to conduct business on those sites for nearly hours, the government websites were able to withstand the attack and remained operational.

Israel is one of the few countries in the world with a technological capacity to shut out incoming cyber entries on its websites from abroad if a government agency or commercial enterprise ascertains a threat. Some major Israeli banks have begun to implement these defensive measures in the wake of the Ox Omar attacks.

Nevertheless, Israeli hi-tech entrepreneurs whose companies have sold advanced cyber security software and hardware to hundreds of companies abroad were highly critical of both the government and local commercial enterprises for endangering consumers and the nation at large.

“How is it that Israel, a nation that promotes itself as being among the elite when it comes to developing hi-tech security, doesn’t invest in purchasing its own locally made technology to defend the public against invasive attacks?” a Jerusalem-based hi-tech executive told Channel 10 News earlier this week.

Israeli newspapers reported that a group of Israeli hackers responded to Ox Omar’s attacks with retaliatory cyber strikes on thousands of Facebook pages emanating from a variety of Arab nations across the Middle East.

Hackers Shut Down Stock Exchange, El Al Sites

Monday, January 16th, 2012

Hackers followed through with their pledge to step up their cyber war with Israel, shutting down the websites of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and El Al Airlines on Monday.

Trading on the stock exchange was not affected by the attack, but the TASE and El Al websites were unavailable to users for hours before technicians were able to restore them.

The attack came just hours after 0xOmar, the Saudi hacker who exposed the credit details of thousands of Israelis, threatened a second hacking attack on Israeli websites. Credit for the attack was claimed by hackers calling themselves “Nightmare Group”. Hamas congratulated the group and encouraged further attacks on Israeli computer systems as part of a comprehensive battle against the Jewish state.

In previous cyber attacks on Israel, the public websites of the Shin Bet and Mossad intelligence services, as well as other government websites, have been hacked.

The government has now established a National Cyber Committee, under retired general Yitzhak Ben Yisrael, to prevent such attacks.

After 0xOmar posted the personal details of thousands of Israelis online, an Israeli hacker retaliated by posting non-sensitive credit information pertaining to hundreds of Saudis, calling it a warning against escalating the cyber war with Israel.

Israel To Form New Cyber Warfare Administration

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

The Israeli Ministry of Defense is set to form a cyber warfare administration to combat the increasingly dangerous hacking and cyber warfare threat.

This new entity “will coordinate the efforts of Israeli security bodies and defense industries in developing advanced cyber systems,” the Israel Defense website said.

The decision to establish this new administration was made before the recent spate of hackings of Israeli websites and credit card details, but those incidents have certainly given it a greater urgency.

 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israel-to-form-new-cyber-warfare-administration/2012/01/15/

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