Attempted infiltration by Gazan hackers possibly linked to Hamas thwarted

An attempt by hackers from Gaza to attack media outlets and journalists in Israel was thwarted by an American security company.
Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

The American security company Paulo Alto Networks in cooperation with the Clearsky Company published today that in recent months there has been an attempted cyber-attack targeting media outlets and journalists in Israel and abroad.  According to estimates, this is an ongoing activity for Gazan attackers, who are very likely to be linked to the Hamas terror group.

The attackers targeted government officials, private companies and major news agencies and media outlets in 39 countries across the globe with an emphasis on Israel, Egypt and the US. The attackers used 4 different methods against the media on different platforms apparently in order to take control of the databases and to possess the programs they hold.

The hackers developed new blogs with links to articles that included a virus that let them take over the computers. Another method used was virus infected applications that are sold in smartphone application stores. In addition, the hackers sent links to a site similar to gmail, where the attackers asked to type a username and password.

“This is an ongoing and extensive campaign against a number of targets in Israel and the Palestinian Authority,” a source from Clearsky stated. “The goal is to gather intelligence and to take over attackers computers. Israel has become a popular target for cyber-attacks like in every year since 2013, when the Anonymous hacker group attacked Israel on April 7.”

Most of the attacks by the organization don’t cause significant damage and they exist mainly due to media exposure. Cyber experts stress that the best defense is not to open links or emails from sources one cannot identify.

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