Gaza hackers prepare for 'wiping Israel off the Internet'

Gaza hackers prepare for 'wiping Israel off the Internet'
Fri Feb 21, 2014 08:17:16

Hacking Israeli websites from the Gaza Strip is a raging front in a war where soldiers are trained in the art of hacking individually and collectively.

They are preparing to fight the next battle globally, united in a virtual world with other hackers around the world to deliver a message that the siege on Gaza must end.

The electronic conflict between Palestinian hackers and Israel is growing, after the success of the largest unified hacking operation against Israel launched on April 7, 2013. The goal of the attack, dubbed OpIsrael, was that of “wiping Israel off the Internet.”

Al-Monitor correspondent met in Gaza with a hacker group focused on penetrating Israeli websites and responsible for some of OpIsrael's breakthroughs.

Spider Seeker, Site Killer, Dark Coder, the Shadow of the Ghost, and the leader of the group, Prince, are pseudonyms for the five members of the group Pal Anonymous, who range in age from 20 to 30 years. They called themselves “resistance hackers.”

Professional hackers in Gaza have only three options: to be moral, resistant or material hackers, who try to steal others’ information or money in light of the weakness of government oversight and the poor quality of university education in this kind of technology.

Each member of Pal Anonymous has a specialty, and they all work under the guidance of the leader. Spider Seeker is responsible for collecting information on the targeted sites. He said he focuses on Israeli government, business and trade union sites. Dark Coder is a software specialist responsible for the scripts, or programs, that automatically run a set of operations.

Site Killer's job is to remove a site’s shell, which involves lifting the script that controls all the websites on a server. The Shadow of the Ghost is responsible for SQL injection to extract the database columns to learn the website’s main username and password. Prince, the leader, provides security and protection in addition to allocating tasks to the group members.

The hackers said they conducted OpIsrael to penetrate a number of Israeli websites, including those of the Kadima Party, the Israeli stock exchange, the Bank of Jerusalem and Israel Trade, which has reprogrammed its site to better protect it against hacking.

“We are in electronic warfare every day. We penetrate Israeli websites every day, and the time it takes depends on the difficulty of [hacking] the site. We are also preparing for the next simultaneous attack, which has not yet been scheduled,” said Prince. “We have penetrated many government and personal sites, as well as bank accounts stored on websites. That helped us buy many online services.”

Prince explained, however, that their aim was not material gain. Rather, he said, "We use that information to buy programs that provide protection for members of the group in order to avoid being tracked. These programs work by changing our position on the Internet whereby we appear to be present in another country or changing the device number that appears on the Internet and the domain name.”

Site Killer responded to Al-Monitor’s question about whether the group can rely on information circulating on social media sites or other sites that carry different names, such as Hacker Gaza. He began by saying, “Confidentiality is the foundation of our work … ” before the Shadow of the Ghost interrupted him, asserting, “We depend on ourselves to get to the sources of information, not only on external sources. All sites on the network under the name of Hacker Gaza may be partisan or amateur, or designed to lure us, so we don’t trust them.”

The team’s leader noted both internal and external risks. “We are afraid of being tracked by Israeli intelligence or falling into the so-called trap whereby the opposite side opens ports to facilitate the penetration of websites as a trap to determine the details of where we are located.”

Prince and his group continue their work in preparation for the next major assault on Israeli websites.


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