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May 6, 2014 0

Moroccan Ghosts Hackers Deface Jewish Websites In U.S.

The Moroc­can Ghosts, a polit­i­cally moti­vated hacker group that tar­get­s the web­sites of Jew­ish insti­tu­tions in the United States, struck again last month when it defaced the web­sites of four Jew­ish insti­tu­tions belong­ing to the Union for Reform Judaism.moroccan-ghosts-hack-jewish-institutions-facebook ghosts

The hack­ers defaced the web­sites of Jew­ish insti­tu­tions in Col­orado, New Jer­sey, Mass­a­chu­setts and Geor­gia with an image of an indi­vid­ual wrapped in what appears to be a Pales­tin­ian flag and a state­ment say­ing, “When injus­tice becomes law … Resis­tance becomes a duty.”

A state­ment boast­ing about this lat­est cyber-attack on the Moroc­can Ghosts Face­book page read:  “Hack­ing 4 for­mal Zion­ist tem­ples in Amer­ica or in more accu­rate words [4] dirty places to con­spire and plot against Palestine.”

In response to the hack, ADL con­tacted Face­book to alert them to the page claim­ing respon­si­bil­ity for the hack and to urge them to inves­ti­gate the sit­u­a­tion. The Face­book page has sub­se­quently been removed.

In 2012, Moroc­can Ghosts defaced Jew­ish con­gre­ga­tional web­sites with their logo and an hour-long video deny­ing the Holocaust.

This lat­est cyber-attack is part of a larger trend of polit­i­cally moti­vated hack­ings tar­get­ing the web­sites of per­ceived sup­port­ers of Israel. ADL offers guid­ance to Jew­ish insti­tu­tions regard­ing online and dig­i­tal security.

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March 14, 2014 1

Hackers Target Israel On Holocaust Remembrance Day

A hacker group known as Anony­mous Arab has announced plans to ini­ti­ate a cyber-attack against Israel on Holo­caust Remem­brance Day (April 7). The cam­paign, called OpIs­rael, is being pro­moted on mul­ti­ple social media plat­forms in order to attract hack­ers from around the world.  opisrael-anonymous-arab-april-7-holocaust-remembrance-day

In a state­ment on the Anony­mous Arab Face­book page, the group threat­ened to launch “elec­tronic attacks against as many Israeli web­sites as pos­si­ble.” The group also threat­ens Israeli cit­i­zens: “Your credit cards, your bank accounts, your servers … are ALL in a danger!”

Last year, Anony­mous Arab issued a sim­i­lar warn­ing around the same time to “wipe Israel off the Inter­net.” The warn­ing was fol­lowed by a series of cyber-attacks against Israeli gov­ern­ment, mil­i­tary and pri­vate web­sites, although with lim­ited results.

The Face­book page includes tuto­r­ial videos on hack­ing web­sites. One post reads, “Guys who are expe­ri­enced in the DOS Attack [Denial of Ser­vice Attacks], prepa­ra­tions must be made to attack the web­site of the Zion­ist Min­istry of For­eign Affairs.” The post specif­i­cally men­tions the Farsi lan­guage web­site of the Israeli Min­istry of For­eign Affairs.

Another post reads, “Now, Attack. Stop the ser­vice on the Israeli weapons web­site.” The post also lists tac­ti­cal instruc­tions and asks par­tic­i­pants to hide their IP [Inter­net Pro­to­col] so they can­not be tracked.

The past few years wit­nessed an esca­la­tion in cyber-attacks against Israel by var­i­ous hacker groups from all across the Arab World. Hack­ers have also increased their attacks against the web­sites of Jew­ish insti­tu­tions in the United States.

Hack­ers who tar­get Israel often claim their attack is part of an elec­tronic Jihad against the State of Israel in defense of the Pales­tin­ian peo­ple, but the tim­ing of this cam­paign to coin­cide with Holo­caust Remem­brance Day demon­strates an anti-Semitic bent.

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April 9, 2013 2

Electronic Jihad Targets Israel On Holocaust Remembrance Day

As Israelis and Jews pre­pared to com­mem­o­rate Holo­caust Remem­brance Day, var­i­ous hacker groups launched a cam­paign on Sun­day to “wipe Israel off the Internet.”

While described by some hack­ers as an attack against Israel for its treat­ment of the Pales­tini­ans, the cam­paign was specif­i­cally timed with Holo­caust Remem­brance Day and has fea­tured strong anti-Semitic rhetoric, includ­ing Holo­caust denial.

For exam­ple, a group call­ing itself Anony­mous Arab posted an Arabic-language YouTube video on April 6 call­ing for the removal the ‘Zion­ist Entity’ from the inter­net.” The video says there is “no proof” that the Holo­caust took place – “you have fab­ri­cated with your part­ners” — and that Israel is “unwor­thy to exist in your cur­rent form.”

“So long as your regime exists,” the video says, “peace shall be hindered.”

In addi­tion, the Lebanon-based satel­lite tele­vi­sion sta­tion Al Mayadeen aired an inter­view with a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Al Falaga, a Tunisian hacker group that par­tic­i­pated in the cyber-attack. In the inter­view, the rep­re­sen­ta­tive said, “We chose this day because it’s the mem­ory of the Holo­caust when the Jews were burned by the hands of Hitler and today they burn by our hands.” The inter­view was posted later on the Face­book page of Al Falaga.

Accord­ing to ini­tial reports, the cyber-attack, which was announced sev­eral months ago as “OpIsrael2,” affected some Israeli gov­ern­ment and defense sites, but failed to bring them down.

Sev­eral hacker groups par­tic­i­pated in this cam­paign. A pro-Hamas hacker group, Al-Qassam Elec­tronic Brigades, posted a YouTube video on April 7 that included what appears to be a record­ing of a hack­ing oper­a­tion against the web­site of one of Israel’s polit­i­cal par­ties, Kadima.

The Moroc­can Ghosts, a polit­i­cally moti­vated hack­ers group that has pre­vi­ously tar­geted the web­sites of Jew­ish insti­tu­tions in the U.S., pub­lished on their Face­book page a long list of hacked web­sites that they claim are either Israeli are Jewish-operated.

Some of the web­sites hacked by the Moroc­can Ghosts were defaced with anti-Israel slurs and loaded with a media player that recited verses from the Quran. Despite the claims that they tar­geted Israeli and Jewish-operated web­sites, some of the listed sites have no appar­ent affil­i­a­tion with Israel or Jews, and may have been included because they were an easy-to-hack and serve to inflate the impact of the cyber-attack.

In addi­tion, sev­eral pro-Hamas web­sites, Face­book pages and other hacker forums posted threads claim­ing hack­ing oper­a­tions against Jews and Israelis worldwide.

The first OpIs­rael took place dur­ing Israel’s Oper­a­tion Pil­lar of Defense in Gaza last Novem­ber, when hack­ers tar­geted, and in some cases defaced, var­i­ous Israeli websites.

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