Israeli 'IDF Team' Hackers Hit Hamas Website
A detail from an image on the front page of a Hamas-affiliated website, showing a suicide bomber releasing the doves of peace from a jail cell.
CREDIT: Media Office of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades
A group of politically driven Israeli hackers knocked a Hamas website offline today (Feb. 7), and has threatened further cyberattacks against the site's Saudi Arabian hosting company. It's the latest strike in an ongoing online battle between Israeli and Arab hackers that began early last month.
The Jerusalem Post reported that the hackers, known as the "IDF Team," first sent an email to the Nashirnet Web-hosting company in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, asking it to remove www.qassam.ps, a Palestinian site run by Hamas' Izzadin al-Qassam Brigades terrorist force.
The site "often displays content celebrating rocket fire on Israeli civilians from Gaza," Yaakov Lappin from the Jerusalem Post wrote.
Nashirnet denied the IDF Team's request, and the hackers followed by taking down the site themselves. As of 3:30 p.m. ET, it was still down. The IDF Team threatened more attacks against Nashirnet for failing to comply with the request and continuing to host what it feels is an offensive website.
The IDF Team's action is rooted in a month-long spat being played out, with surprising frequency, between itself and a group of anti-Israeli Arab hackers with the backing of the notorious Anonymous network. ("IDF" refers to the Israeli Defense Force, in which most Israeli Jews must serve.)
The fight began Jan. 3, when a Saudi Arabian hacker calling himself 0xOmar posted 15,000 Israeli credit-card numbers. The IDF Team quickly retaliated, leaking Arab credit-card information, which then prompted Anonymous to get involved by leaking login details for Israeli industrial-control systems.
On Jan. 16, Arab hackers hit again, disrupting the websites of the Israeli flagship airline El Al and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, prompting the IDF Team to take down the Saudi Stock Exchange the following day.
Earlier today, the Jerusalem Post said Arab hackers had temporarily knocked the Israeli Internet news site, Ynet, offline.