florida » ADL Blogs
Posts Tagged ‘florida’
October 14, 2014

Florida Temple Latest Target For ISIS Sympathizing Hackers

Update – 10/15/14: ADL alerted Facebook about the “Team System Dz”  Facebook page. The page was removed from Facebook by the following day. ADL applauds Facebook’s response to the hacker group’s effort to exploit its service. 

Last week, as Jews were celebrating the holiday of Sukkot, a hacker group calling itself “Team System Dz” attacked the website of Temple Kol Ami Emmanu-El in South Florida, redirecting visitors to a page with messages expressing support of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).team-system-dz-florida-temple-hackers

Visitors to the synagogue’s website were directed to statements in English such as “I love you ISIS” and an Arabic statement promising to “never forget about the heroes of the Muslim Ummah [nation] who sacrificed their lives for the sake of God,” an apparent reference to ISIS fighters. Visitors also saw an image of the Star of David crossed out next to the words, “F[ ] You Israel.

This incident is the latest in a series of attacks against Jewish institutional websites carried out by groups apparently based in the Middle East and North Africa. While past hacking efforts against Jewish institutions have focused on the Israeli Palestinian conflict, more recent attacks against Jewish and non-Jewish targets are being carried out in the name of ISIS.

“Team System Dz” claimed credit for and bragged about its “hacks of Jewish websites especially the website of the Miami temple” on its Facebook page. The claim of credit noted that the attack “coincided with the time of one of the Jewish celebrations [and] created a big noise on media sites.” The group’s Facebook page also claims to have targeted other websites, including other Jewish and Israeli websites around the world.

Yesterday the group threatened additional attacks against American and Israeli websites. “…we will spend all the time for a massive number of attacks on American and Israeli websites, with God’s will they will be hacked. Curse upon America and Israel.”

The group appears to be based in Algeria; its Facebook profile cover image includes the phrase “Proud to be Algerian” and other posts feature Algerian flags and symbols. The “Dz” in the group’s name seems to be a reference to the internet domain designation for Algeria. Furthermore, most announcements on the page are written in the Algerian Arabic dialect.

In addition to “Team System Dz,” the name “Jordan Earthquake” in Arabic was also listed on the page that the temple’s visitors were redirected to.  “Jordan Earthquake” appears to be a hacker closely affiliated with “Team System Dz.” Various posts on the group’s Facebook page indicate that “Jordan Earthquake” is a partner in several of its hacking operations.

The “Team System Dz” Facebook page also contains materials prepared by the media bureau of ISIS. The group’s Twitter handle uses several ISIS-related hashtags and includes links to many media accounts about the temple’s website’s hacking.

Jewish websites in the U.S. have become a common target for hacker groups in the Arab and Muslim world. Below is a sampling of attacks launched by various hacker groups against Jewish institutions in the U.S. in the past few years.

  • In July 2014, The Moroccan Islamic Union-mail hacker group claimed responsibility for vandalizing the websites of Jewish congregations in Pennsylvania and Houston with messages in support of Gaza.
  • In December 2013, the Tunisia based group, Fallaga, hacked the website of the Missouri-based Jewish Radio.
  • In July 2013, the website of a Jewish communal high school program in upstate New York was hacked by a member of the Gaza Hackers Team. The website was defaced with anti-Israel messages.
  • In December 2012, the Bangladesh Cyber Army hacker group targeted the website of a Temple in Omaha and posted images depicting what the group called “Israel killing children.”

Other hacker groups like aljyyosh (“the armies” in Arabic) claim to have hacked into personal information belonging to American Jews and Israelis and provided instructions on how to hack into such personal information on their various online forums.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

July 29, 2014

Some Anti-Semitism In U.S. In Reaction To Israeli Operations In Gaza

As Israel’s response to the latest round of rocket fire from Hamas in Gaza continues, some Jewish individuals and institutions in the U.S. have been targets of anti-Semitism related to the current conflict.anti-semitic-graffiti-synagogue

In Florida this week, two separate anti-Semitic hate crimes desecrated a synagogue and a Jewish family’s property. Congregation Torah V’Emunah, an Orthodox synagogue within close proximity to other synagogues, was spray-painted with the word “Hamas” and swastikas on its front entrance. Additionally a Jewish family discovered that one of their cars was covered from top to bottom with eggs while the other had the words “Jew” and “Hamas” smeared in cream cheese on the windows.

In Malibu, California over the weekend, phrases such as “Jews=Killers” and “Jews are Killing Innocent Children” were found near the entrance to a Jewish summer camp.

Last week, anti-Semitic leaflets, which threatened violence if Israel does not pull out of Gaza, were left on cars in Peterson Park, a predominantly Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Chicago.

On July 17, about two dozen anti-Israel protesters targeted the Florida Holocaust Museum with graphic images of dead Palestinians and slogans charging Israel with genocide.

Earlier this month, the Chabad of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas was spray-painted with graffiti that read “Fre Palestine” [sic] and “Free Gaza.”

Similarly, in Massachusetts, the Montefiore Orthodox Synagogue in Lowell was vandalized with the words “Free Palestine” and “God Bless Gaza” spray painted in red on its white marble walls.

American Jewish institutions have also been targeted online. The Moroccan Islamic Union-mail hacker group vandalized the website of Congregation Beth Am Israel in Penn Valley, Pennsylvania earlier this month with the phrase “end Israeli violence in #Gaza” and an image of Mohammad Abu Khdeir, a Palestinian who was killed in Jerusalem by what appears to be a group of Jewish extremists.

Additionally, the pop­u­lar­ity of some dis­turb­ing Hitler-related hash­tags on Twit­ter has grown in reac­tion to Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge,” such as #HitlerWasRight and #HitlerDidNothingWrong.

Such anti-Semitism is also evident at many of the anti-Israel demonstrations held in cities throughout the U.S., as well as in Europe, where the State of Israel is often demonized with Holocaust imagery or other anti-Semitic expressions.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

May 15, 2014

“Jews Vs. Nazis” Drinking Game Controversy

An offensive new Holocaust-themed version of the popular “beer pong” drinking game has become a subject of intense discussion online and in domestic and international media. The game, dubbed “Jews vs.Jews vs  Nazis beer pong drinking game Nazis,” is played by setting up two groups of cups, one in the shape of a swastika and the other in the shape of a Star of David.

While the game has reportedly been played across the country in the last few years, the most recent instance came to light after a Twitter feed dedicated to anonymous high school confessions tweeted a photo of cups set up for “Jews vs. Nazis” on April 27. The photo, which appeared to be from a high school in Florida, was subsequently retweeted 1,800 times, favorited over 3,000 times, and covered by the local news.

There are documented instances of “Jews vs. Nazis” beer pong on various social media sites going back to at least 2011. These photos are frequently recirculated by people claiming they are from a recent event.

The photo from the supposed recent game actually first appeared in March 2013 on Reddit, a user-generated news site. It has since shown up on other blogs and websites where drinking games are a common topic, as well as on a food blog and the website of a Colorado radio station, which described five new versions of beer pong for its listeners to try.

The March 2013 photo, the most commonly circulated on social media, often also includes the game’s rules. In addition to having the teams shape their cups into a swastika and a Star of David, the game’s over-the-top insensitivities include giving the “Jews” the ability to hide one of their cups as the “Anne Frank” cup and the “Nazis” the ability to “Auschwitz” their opponents, meaning that one of their players must temporarily sit out.

Not only is this game profoundly offensive, its rules also encourage anti-Semitism against the “Jew” team. The rules state: “Throughout the game you are supposed to talk a lot of s–t and say as many racist things as possible to make it more enjoyable. My Jewish friends actually love this game haha.”

This game underscores once more the critical need for Holocaust education. A recent global poll on anti-Semitism conducted by ADL revealed that only a little more than half of the respondents had heard of the Holocaust, though that number was much higher in the U.S. where 89% of people acknowledged awareness of the Holocaust.

Tags: , , , , , ,