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November 30, 2012 1

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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