A number of hacker groups, including factions within Anonymous, claim to have gained access to servers used by Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, stealing personal information of more than 30,000 individuals belonging to several sectors of the Israeli government, as well as several nongovernmental organizations.
RedHack, a Turkey-based Marxist hacker group, specifically claimed responsibility for the release of the personal information, which included phone numbers, emails and addresses. RedHack said the information belongs to Mossad intelligence officers, as well as informants handled by Israeli officers.
“Yes, we realize we are sailing in dangerous water but we like swimming,” tweeted RedHack_EN, an English Language account used by the Turkish hacker group. In the same tweet, RedHack_EN posted links to spreadsheets containing the information.
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In spite of RedHack’s claims, some argue that the names and information do not belong to Mossad officers or informants.
“Whatever they stole, it probably wasn’t secure details of top Israeli brass, either from the army or the Mossad,” internet researcher Dr. Tal Pavel told the Times of Israel.
“There is no doubt that they got some identification information about Israelis, but the claims that they hacked the Mossad site and got a list of Mossad agents is most likely psychological warfare, and not a hack into an important database,” Pavel added.
GlobalPost Senior Correspondent in Israel, Noga Tarnopolsky, said the news of the hack was not met with much serious reaction in Israel.
Forbes contributor Michael Peck noted that the same list of names appeared online earlier in 2013, adding that if hackers had indeed stolen the identities of Mossad intelligence officers, it would be strange for them to wait several months before releasing the information online.
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Whether or not RedHack’s claim is legitimate, other hacker groups — including Anonymous — have announced the revitalization of OpIsrael, scheduled to take place on April 7.
"The hacking teams have decided to unite against Israel as one entity and that Israel should be getting prepared to be 'erased' from the internet. It’s not one Hacker, It’s not one Team, But Various Hacker, Various Teams from all over the World are participating in this Operation! It’s gonna be the biggest ever operation launched against any country, It’s gonna be Huge!" said AnonGhost to The Hackers Post.
OpIsrael began late last year in response to missile attacks by Israeli Defense Forces against Hamas targets in Gaza.
OpIsrael was witness to one of the most devastating cyberattacks in recent memory as a virtual army of pro-Palestinian hackers converged on Israeli domains.
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While hackers within Anonymous led the digital charge against Israel last November, hackers from Algeria, Morocco and Pakistan, among others, carried out DDoS attacks and defacement of websites. Other attacks were the work of lone hackers or lesser known collectives.
According to AnonGhost, several of the same hackers that participated in the operation last November will be joining each other again on April 7 to bring the same force to bear.