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Related Categories: Palestine | Anti-War
Zionist Israeli Cyber Terrorists Foiled
by peacemonger
Friday Sep 6th, 2002 2:46 PM
Many of us have been subjected to massive spamming from the Zionist pro-Israeli hackers.
I personally received 500 spams today from them.
Israeli Computer Hackers Foiled, Exposed

By Michael Gillespie

For Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

9/03/02 - 1,542 words


Israeli cyber warfare professionals targeted human rights and
anti-war activists across the USA in late July and August temporarily
disrupting communications, harassing hundreds of computer users, and
annoying thousands more.

The Israeli hackers targeted Stephen "Sami" Mashney, an Anaheim,
California, attorney active in the effort to raise awareness of the
plight of Palestinians.

"People have found an alternate way to communicate through the
Internet," Mashney, a Palestinian-American, told the Washington Report on
Middle East Affairs, "and this attack is backfiring on the hackers. Many
people are being educated."

Mashney, who co-manages a popular pro-Palestinian e-mail list hosted
by Yahoo! logged onto his Internet accounts on July 31 to find hundreds
of e-mail messages from angry Americans. He quickly realized that
hackers had appropriated or "spoofed" his e-mail addresses and identity
and sent out a message titled "Down With America" in his name. The
message named and included contact information for 16 well-known human
rights activists and falsely claimed the activists wished to be contacted
by anyone desiring advice or assistance in fomenting and carrying out
anti-American, anti-Christian, or anti-Jewish activities. In an obvious
attempt to damage Mashney's reputation, the hackers appended his name,
law office telephone number, and website address to the spurious e-mail.

As Mashney was looking up the telephone number of the local FBI
office to report the hackers' crime, his phone rang. It was the FBI
calling, from Washington, with questions about the forged e-mail message.
Mashney later met with FBI agents in California.


"I answered all their relevant questions," said Mashney, who notes
that the hackers' attacks continued unabated for weeks and expanded to
include other new and innovative methods of harassment that were used
against many other activists associated with Free Palestine and other
public and private e-mail lists.

Dr. Francis A. Boyle, professor of International Law at the
University of Illinois College of Law, is a human rights activist who
served on the board of Amnesty International USA. A member of Free
Palestine and other activist lists, Dr. Boyle was also targeted by
Israeli hackers who sent counterfeit e-mails in his name. Again, the
hackers' intention was to sow confusion, provoke animosity, damage a
reputation, and restrict ability to communicate. When Boyle returned
from a vacation in mid August, he found 55,000 e-mails waiting for him.
Like Mashney, Boyle spent days sorting through the messages, writing
personal apologies to those offended by the bogus e-mails, and deleting
thousands of bounced messages. Unflappable, Boyle takes it all in
stride.

"You can't keep the Irish down," wrote Boyle in an e-mail message to
this reporter.

Israeli hackers also targeted Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh, associate
professor at the Yale University School of Medicine. The hackers
forwarded to some 1,500 members of the Yale community e-mails that
Qumsiyeh had sent to a private list of activists. Many of his university
colleagues were annoyed, but Qumsiyeh, too, feels that the hackers are
doing the Zionist cause more harm than good. Qumsiyeh said the hackers'
efforts have generated new networking opportunities among activists and
groups who did not know of each other's existence before the hackers
targeted them.

Monica Terazi is director of the New York office of the American
Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC). Terazi's e-mail privileges
were yanked by Yahoo! for a time after hackers "spoofed" her e-mail
address and identity to send a message to some 80 Yahoo! groups. Terazi,
like Mashney, spoke with the FBI about the new Israeli cyber warfare
tactics, which have piqued the interest of Internet communications
professionals. For a story published August 23, Terazi wrote to Wired
News reporter Noah Shachtman, "While these e-mails are a nuisance,
offensive and intimidating, the FBI didn't find anything illegal: There
haven't been threats that rise to the level of a hate crime, no money has
been stolen, public safety has not been endangered and, as far as we can
tell, our computers have not been hacked or 'technically intruded into'
as one agent put it." The offensive messages are all protected by the
First Amendment, said Terazi.


By mid August, the Israeli hackers had begun to target activists in
Iowa, where it seems the Israeli hackers have "technically intruded" into
computers. It is also likely their helpers here have forwarded addresses
from private lists to Israel. Iowa activists report that people and
organizations on their private e-mail lists: family members, friends,
acquaintances, media contacts, government officials, interfaith relations
organizations, activists, and activist organizations suddenly found
themselves receiving tens, hundreds, or thousands of anti-Arab,
anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian "spam" e-mails per day. Many on private
e-mail lists reported receiving anti-Arafat cartoons and racist
diatribes, along with e-mail that aggressively connected to a web site
that took control of their computers, turned the screen white, and made
it necessary to shut down and re-start the computer. Some also reported
that their e-mail addresses had been "spoofed" and their on-line
identities appropriated for the distribution of racist messages.

Darrell Yeaney, a Presbyterian campus minister who retired after
serving at the University of Iowa, is active in Friends of Sabeel, an
ecumenical Christian organization that supports the ministry of Sabeel,
the center for Palestinian Ecumenical Liberation Theology. He and his
wife, Sue, now serve as co-moderators for the Middle East Peacemaking
Group in Iowa. The Yeaneys report that the hackers appropriated their
address and sent out spurious e-mail in their names.


Ames-based activist, author, and editor Betsy Mayfield, whose work
has appeared in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, was busy
with plans for a mid-September Des Moines film festival, "Boundaries: The
Holy Land," when the hackers turned their attentions to her computer.

Several Ames women whose only association with the crisis in the
Holy Land is their commitment to the Ames Interfaith Council (AIC)
reported being shocked by the sudden appearance of pornographic e-mail
and racist diatribes on their computer screens.

Many Iowans were targeted for harassment by the hackers, and
hundreds of others suffered varying degrees of inconvenience because they
were somehow connected to the cause of peace and justice in the Middle
East. Similar scenarios played out in other states across the USA.

The scale of the Israeli cyber warfare campaign, the number of
targets, and the variety of techniques used, coupled with specifically
targeted intrusions calculated to provide additional target addresses for
the application of the hackers' various forms of harassment, suggest a
sophisticated, coordinated, government-sponsored program designed to
impact directly upon the communications abilities of the human rights and
pro-Palestinian anti-war activism communities in the USA.

When the Israeli hackers "spoofed" the AIC's e-mail address, they
invited a response they did not expect. Because the AIC list was hosted
by Iowa State University (ISU), because the world's first electronic
digital computer was invented at ISU in a Physics Department laboratory
in the early 1940s, and because he has represented the ISU Muslim
Student's Association on the AIC cabinet, ISU Physics Department computer
administrator Dr. Bassam Shehadeh decided to track the hackers down.

"The hackers access the internet via an ISP called Palnet.com on the
West Bank," said Shehadeh.

When Palnet.com did not respond to his repeated e-mail enquiries,
Shehadeh called the company, informed their representative that Palnet
facilities were being used to interfere with communications at a state
institution in the USA, and demanded an explanation. He provided
information that enabled Palnet technicians to identify the phone number
of the customer harassing Iowans.

"Everyone here is a victim but the hackers," said Shehadeh. "The
hackers use stolen identification to get access to Palnet."

Shehadeh said the contact line the hackers used for at least one
message to the AIC list address was an Israeli number in West Jerusalem
or one of the surrounding settlements. A Palnet representative also told
Shehadeh the hackers have used several lines and methods to access
Palnet's facilities.


"Afterwards, the hackers compromise another service system here in
the USA by passing the e-mail message with Simple Mail Transfer Protocol
(SMTP), using HELO verb. The hackers don't have a valid principal host
but overcome that by using a bracketed Internet Protocol number (IP
address) at a location anywhere on the web. Web hosting servers tricked
into transferring these e-mails include Digital Cube, Inc., Verizon DSL
Network, and Iowa Online Web Access located in Washington, Iowa," said
Shehadeh

Shehadeh and other computer professionals working in the USA report
that ISPs and companies with IP addresses are typically very cooperative
when notified that their equipment is being misused. Most act promptly
to end the hackers' access.

Given widespread and systematic destruction of electronic
communications facilities by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) in the West
Bank in recent months, the continued existence of Palnet facilities
suggests that the Israeli government had reason to permit Palnet's
continued operation and raises questions about the ability of Palnet's
owners to refuse service to Israeli hackers or otherwise interfere with
their activities.

This particular campaign in Israel's cyber war seemed to have been
curtailed, at least temporarily, on August 29, soon after Shehadeh
tracked the hackers to the West Bank ISP and, finally, to an Israeli
phone number, while other computer professionals in the USA, along with
some of the targeted activists themselves, quietly contacted management
representatives at various IP addresses around the globe and notified
them that their facilities were being abused.




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