Cyberwar - The Battle for Gaza (part 2)

Cyberwar as a word or term, does appear to be inflammatory for many and a cause of considerable debate. Quite simply it is reasonably defined as asynchronous warfare via the web, i.e. the occurrence of two or more processes at different times, and war in its self does not need to have governments fighting each other. As examples, most would agree The American War of Independence was a war, but fought by a section of the populace against a government, or ruling entity.

Propaganda, which can reasonably be considered as an element of cyber warfare, has always been seen as a crucial weapon or of war from the now classical literature of Thomas Paine’s pamphlet “Common Sense”, to the current website hacks or running battles within the social networks.

In the follow up to the earlier blog article, here we can initially consider the battle within the social networks. Within Facebook there has been considerable activity, The Jewish Internet Defense Force, a group that claims to have 5,000 members worldwide are reported to regularly attack the Facebook wall of the group “Support the Fight Against Cancer with Just a Click!”, which currently has 1,350,137 members and describes itself as a “cancer truth group” that appears to blame the “Zionist Jewish Mafia” for the disease. While on Facebook we also see as examples; “Israel is not a country!” with 8,878 members, in counterbalance we have "Palestine is not a country Delist it from Facebook as one!" with 3,649 members, and “End the siege on Gaza now….” with 45,806 members.

Within Wikipedia there are similar battles with TheJDIF’s own article being regularly defaced with swastikas or jihadist slogans. However at the same time they have produced a well researched blacklist of what they consider as “Heavily Biased Anti-Israel Wikipedia Editors”. The Wikipedia article on Hamas is being revised by one side of the argument or the other hourly, if we look at the article’s revision history.

The more conventional web site hacking reported earlier has shown a marked increase in activity not only against Israeli websites but to wider international targets. Notable targets from the many of the pro-Palestinian effort, have been; the United States Army's Military District of Washington website, NATO Parliamentary Assembly website in Brussels, the UNICEF website in Italy, Government websites in Colombia, and many international academic websites, for example University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland. Commercial websites continue to be targeted increasingly in USA, UK, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Australia, and a notable example of Google’s web site in Egypt.

The most reported hacker recently in this conflict recently is “Agd_Scorp / Peace Crew”, actually these are better known in hackers’ circles as the Turkish group “1923turk”of which 6,319 hacks and defacements can be attributed to over the last week. Other hacker groups of note in quantitative terms over the last week are “Cold z3ro”, “DNS Team”, and “FesH4ck3rs Team”. To complete this small effort on quantification, for webmasters it may be interesting that according to Zone-H.org an organization that has tracked hackers and hacking for many years, 70% of the attacks have been against web sites using Linux based servers. However this may more reflect the larger use of Linux over MS Windows for web serving operating systems.

For one final word of warning, from the world of the cyber criminals who take advantage of this and similar situation and has nothing to do with Gaza protests, thanks to Gary Warner of University of Alabama . Be cautious about fake CNN, other news reports, and UNICEF appeals relating to the Gaza conflict, appearing in your email box. These are actually virus laden that lead to the download of malware. From further analysis the hosting of which is by AS46475
Limestone Networks, Inc., Dallas Texas. This is the same IP hosting as Classmates.com recent malware and blacklisted by Spamhaus SBL71257