Anonymous escalates its 'cyberwar' against Israel

The hacking collective's latest campaign against Israel escalates, with defacements of Microsoft Israel Web sites and the publication of alleged donors to a pro-Israel group.

Medical workers in Gaza attend to people wounded by an Israeli air strike on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012.
Medical workers in Gaza attend to people wounded by an Israeli air strike Sunday. CBS News

Anonymous' hacking campaign against Israel to protest its attacks on Gaza escalated today with the release of a list of thousands of individuals who supposedly donated to a pro-Israel organization.

The collective posted a Pastebin document that it said featured names -- and in some cases home addresses and e-mail addresses -- of donors for the Unity Coalition for Israel, which claims to represent "the largest network of pro-Israel groups in the world." The document appears to be quite old: one of the military e-mail addresses belonged to Douglas Feith, the U.S. undersecretary for defense under Bush, who left that job in 2005.

A second document, allegedly also extracted from the coalition, appears to be an e-mail announcement list. It includes e-mail addresses from officials in the White House, Senate, and the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security, as well as many news organizations.

The Unity Coalition for Israel did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNET.

Anonymous' latest attempts to take Israeli Web sites offline or deface them, called OpIsrael, started last week and resulted in temporary outages or spotty connections to the Bank of Jerusalem, Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and many other Web sites. A list shows more than 600 Web sites have been attacked.

One Anonymous Twitter account reported this morning that Israeli Bing, MSN, Skype, Live and other sites were "defaced by Pakistani hackers." A Microsoft spokesman told CNN that: "Microsoft is aware of the site defacements and working to get all sites fully functional We have seen no evidence to suggest the compromise of customer information but will take action to help protect customers as necessary."

A statement from Anonymous says "when the government of Israel publicly threatened to sever all Internet and other telecommunications into and out of Gaza, they crossed a line in the sand." CBS News reported today that Israel's attacks on the homes of Hamas activists "have led to a sharp spike in civilian casualties, killing 24 civilians in just under two days and doubling the number of civilians killed in the conflict," according to a Gaza health official.

Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz downplayed the denial-of-service attacks in an interview with Reuters yesterday, saying only one unnamed site was actually hit by a successful intrusion. "The ministry's computer division will continue to block the millions of cyber attacks," Steinitz said. "We are enjoying the fruits of our investment in recent years in developing computerized defense systems."

 

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