Cyber-Attacks Mirror Middle East ConflictBy: Mike Tuttle - January 16, 2012
The virtual pissing contest between Arabs and Israelis raged on today. A hacker network called “group-xp” claimed responsibility for DDoS attacks on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and on El Al Israel Airlines.
But, let’s be clear. They did not disrupt trading at the exchange nor flights on the airline. In other words, they simply crashed the cosmetic homepages of those entities.
This is somewhat akin to claiming credit for attacking a person’s home, only for it to be discovered later that you ripped the numbers off the mailbox.
Earlier this month, the group claimed they had gotten almost half a million Israeli credit card numbers. Israeli authorities said that it was more like 21,000 numbers. There is some debate as to whether those numbers were genuine.
Last week an Israeli retaliated by posting information about hundreds of Saudis, Egyptians, Syrians, etc. This hacker claimed to be a “soldier in an Israeli intelligence unit”.
If most of this sounds all too adolescent, it could well be. The release of some credit card information may have caused inconvenience, but no cardholder would be held responsible for that kind of theft. These stunts sound a lot like teens or college students trolling around for low-security sites to scrape credit card info from, if they don’t make the numbers up entirely. Then, they make forum postings filled with racist and warmongering invective.
The former head of Internet security for the Israeli government said, “Right now, we’re not seeing anything that’s especially interesting or especially dangerous.”