Israeli Cyberwarfare Campaign Strikes Tikun Olam – OpEd


In this space, I’ve written often about Israeli cyberwar attacks on Iran’s nuclear facilities and personnel.  Now, I have a story to tell about Israel’s cyberwar activists writ small.  Yesterday, this site was attacked by an Israeli hacker.  He hijacked the site’s main page and displayed pro-Israel slogans there.  He also disrupted access to the site so that it was largely down for most visitors.

As far as this individual is concerned, it was all a good bit of hacking fun.  When it’s over you move on to your next prank.  Well, not so fast.  What this fellow didn’t bargain for is that my work on Israel’s cyberwar capabilities brought me into contact with the good folks as Kaspersky Labs, who’ve identified most of the malware Israel’s Unit 8200 created in its war on Iran.

When I reported this intrusion, their engineers went to work ferreting out the culprit.  They even wrote a nine-page report that identified the hacker by name, his IP and e-mail addresses, his child, his ethnic background, his social media accounts.  Further research by others uncovered his home address, phone number and employer.

What I don’t know is why someone would risk all that for a few cyber-kicks.  This individual is an example for the rampant nihilism of Israeli cyberwarfare strategy.  There is no consideration of repercussions to either victim or perpetrator.  The latter appears to think there will be none.  But in this case there will.  There will be a price to pay for this individual, though he acted as if there would not be.  Similarly, Israel will pay a price for its misdeeds though it acts as if what it does comes at no cost.

There is a war going on.  A war of words and of cyberterror.  A war of ideas and demagoguery.  A war between the forces of Israeli triumphalism and democracy.  The Israeli far-right are bullies.  They believe in free speech for themselves but no one else.  They’ll use hacks and cyberwarfare to silence their enemies, who can rot in Hell as far as they’re concerned.  This is the ugly face of the ultra-nationalist right.  This is Israel’s future writ small.

Kaspersky is now helping me fix the damage.  Once it is fixed, I will be exposing this individual to the opprobrium he so richly deserves.  While I usually find it difficult to interest the MSM in the stories I originate, this will be different.  The media will be all over this one.  So to my hacker, while you’ve caused me a day’s worth of aggravation, I’m going to take advantage of your little charade to tell the world everything there is about you, your hack, and the nasty pro-Israel ideology you represent.  We may be the still small voice.  But how we can roar when given half a chance.  And my hacker has given me a great opportunity.

Stay tuned, it’ll be fun.

Thanks to all my readers who reported to me what was going on and who have had patience through this mess.  The only consolation will be in enjoying the result of exposing him and watching as he twists in the wind.

This article appeared at Tikun Olam

Richard Silverstein

Richard Silverstein is an author, journalist and blogger, with articles appearing in Haaretz, the Jewish Forward, Los Angeles Times, the Guardian’s Comment Is Free, Al Jazeera English, and Alternet. His work has also been in the Seattle Times, American Conservative Magazine, Beliefnet and Tikkun Magazine, where he is on the advisory board. Check out Silverstein's blog at Tikun Olam, one of the earliest liberal Jewish blogs, which he has maintained since February, 2003.

One thought on “Israeli Cyberwarfare Campaign Strikes Tikun Olam – OpEd

  • September 9, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    When Israeli militants try to shut up a U.S. journalist by destroying or damaging his property and means of communication, especially if it occurs in the United States, our government must take legal action and prosecute the individual or individuals responsible to the full extent of the law.

    In the end it will only cause blowback to the Likud as more and more people are made aware of such incidents.


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