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Anonymous claims Mossad hack; experts not convinced

25 March 2013

This weekend saw the release of around 35,000 names and other details, allegedly including Mossad agents, stolen by Anonymous and following a warning that OpIsrael phase 2 – designed to ‘erase’ Israel from the internet – would commence on 7 April.

The Mossad hack was first announced via Twitter, with comments from @YourAnonNews such as “NOW: #RedHack and #Anonymous engaging Israel, releasing dox on govt officials, military, police and politicians. #OpIsrael”, and “Mossad Hacked by #Sector404 & #Anonymous - #OpIsrael #RedHack”

The story was then picked up by several fringe news sites. HackRead reported Saturday that, “The groups that took part in the attack were Sector404, Anonymous and RedHack, where Sector404 initiated distributed denial of service attack while Anonymous and RedHack breached into the site, leaking highly sensitive information on Twitter and Google Docs.” It added that, “Leaked data contains personal details such as IDs, emails, full names, Zip codes, phone numbers, cities and states where the agents live or stationed.”

There can be little doubt that the official Mossad website was attacked by one or more branches of Anonymous; however, it now seems likely that the data leak was not connected to a DDoS attack – and questions are being asked about the veracity of the data itself. “Some of the individuals in the database have multiple entries. Many seem to be merchants or others with no connection to the government at all,” comments the Office of Inadequate Security website. “Think what you want of Mossad’s actions, but they are not stupid... Covert operatives’ names and contact details thrown into a large database connected to the Internet? Highly unlikely.”

Dr Tal Pavel, an expert in the Middle East and Islamic World internet, told the Times of Israel, “There is no doubt that they got some identification information about Israelis, but the claims that they hacked the Mossad site and got a list of Mossad agents is most likely psychological warfare, and not a hack into an important database.”

Nevertheless, the proposed campaign against Israel to start on 7 April seems real enough. This reporter was once told by a hacker that he had left Anonymous because of the strong anti-Israel and pro-Muslim bias it contained. Even some of the names that have been associated with Anonymous – such as UGNazi – seem to confirm this. And the terms used to describe the purpose of OpIsrael echo some of the more extreme words used by Iran: to wipe Israel off the internet.

This article is featured in:
Internet and Network Security

 

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