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November 30, 2012

ADL Tracks Hackers Targeting Jewish Institutions For Electronic Jihad

The Moroccan Ghosts, a politically motivated hacker group targeting the websites of Jewish institutions, launched a cyber-attack last week against a server that hosts approximately 50 Jewish congregational websites, including synagogues in New Jersey and Connecticut.

The hackers defaced the targeted websites with their logo and an hour-long video denying the Holocaust. The Moroccan Ghosts, which has reportedly hacked approximately 82 websites since March, had been promising to launch attacks for several months.

The group celebrated the attack in a statement posted to its Facebook page. The statement, translated by the Anti-Defamation League, claimed that the attack was carried out against “one of the most significant and very extreme Zionist assemblies that support Israel in America.”

The statement also read: “…we posted on their wall a video that proves the ridiculousness of accusing the Germans with the Holocaust. It [the holocaust] was a scam by the Jews to blackmail the Germans and the west after the war and gain international sympathy to take over Palestinian lands… The truth is Holocaust never happened…”

ADL notified Facebook about the group’s activity and subsequently, the page was taken down. The group has since reestablished a new Facebook page, featuring similar content and promising to continue to recreate new Facebook pages as needed.

A post on the groups Twitter feed warned that “War against the Zionist pigs is coming coming coming…,” Through its twitter feed, it also declared support to Hamas leader Ismail Haniyah, the Palestinians and the Arab and Islamic causes.

On one of the Moroccan Ghosts’ YouTube channels, the group describes itself as a Moroccan patriotic group that operates under Morocco’s motto “God, the King, and the Homeland.” The group has been targeting perceived supporters of Israel, mostly but not exclusively, in the United States.

In addition to its animosity towards Israel, Zionists and Jews, the group claims to oppose the Polisario Front, a group working for the independence of Western Sahara from Morocco.

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

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