Sunday, January 8, 2012

Cyber Terrorists Launch Attack on Israel

The leaking of the private credit card information of thousands of Israelis last week was a breach of sovereignty comparable to a terrorist operation,” stated Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon yesterday. "Israel has an enormous ability to protect itself and I reckon that we will do so and find all of the breaches. Whoever harms Israel’s cyberspace is not immune from retaliation,” Ayalon said.

Last week a group identified as Saudi Arabian-based Group-XP claimed it had obtained the personal information of about 400,000 Israelis. The group hacked the popular Israeli sports website and linked from there to files containing the information.

The data, posted online by a hacker identifying himself as “0xOmar,” was not obtained at, which is a free site.

The data contained many repetitive listings and investigations conducted by Israeli credit card companies and the Bank of Israel’s Banking Supervision Department determined that only the details of some 15,000 active cards had been exposed. The credit companies immediately canceled the affected cards before any serious financial damage had been done and informed their customers. Even so, the data theft was one of the worst Israel has ever faced.

Later last week, the hacking group threatened to expose the details of one million Israeli credit cards in total, but subsequent files posted online contained only a few thousand more listings and possibly a malicious Trojan horse script.

"It's a payback," OxOmar said in an email interview with Israeli news site Ynet. OxOmar said he intends to "harm Israel for now financially and socially by creating long queues, and crisis and panic."

Israeli blogger Amir Fedida claimed that the hacker was not from Saudi Arabia but rather Omar Habib, a 19-year-old man from the United Arab Emirates studying in Mexico. Fedida said the hacker made several errors, including communicating with the media by email. Fedida claimed that the hacker is active in pro-Palestinian Internet forums.

The hacker denided Fedida’s claim, stating: "If a stupid student thinks he can find me (within) 8 hours of work, what will Mossad do? But I'm still here and no one can find me, make sure, no worries, I'm waiting.”

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