November 9, 2012: In late October Israeli police were ordered to stop using the Internet or plugging USB memory sticks into their PCs. All this was prompted by the recent discovery of stealthy hacker software hidden in some police PCs. The source of this infection was a Trojan horse program delivered by official looking emails with a compressed (.rar) file attached. If a policeman opened the rar file that installed a RAT (Remote Access Trojan) which allowed the sender of the email to secretly take control of infected PCs. The police department network protection software should have detected this infection but did not, at least not quickly enough. Now, as the police scramble to improve their network defenses, they temporarily ordered their staff to stay off the Internet and not use memory sticks (another way to getting RATs onto a network.) This has been one of the most successful Islamic terrorist uses of hacking so far. For over a decade now Islamic terrorists have been trying, without a lot of success to make attacks on Israel via the Internet. The Islamic hackers were expected to get better over time, but Israel believed its defenses could improve faster. That has not always been the case.
Four years ago Islamic Hackers attacked the web site of the Bank of Israel on Passover weekend (April 19-20), and shut it down for two days. The hackers identified themselves as “The Moorish,” indicating that they belonged to a known Algerian hacking organization. But Israel suspected Hezbollah, which had been trying to build a Cyber War capability. The bank insisted that the damage was minimal, but they would say that in order to deny the hackers any inside information on how successful they were. Moslem hackers have been attacking Israeli commercial and government web sites for years. Until recently they have had little success, as the Israelis have been constantly improving their defenses.
It was expected that eventually Islamic terrorist hackers would get better. That’s because of Islamic terrorist connections to the hacker community. It’s no secret that the Internet is overrun with scams and crooks. We only have to look at the stuff that slips through our spam filters to get a taste. Less known is the fact that some of these Internet crooks are doing it to support Islamic terrorism. For over five years intelligence agencies and Internet security companies have known of hackers that also maintained several Islamic radical websites, and that used some of their stolen credit card profits to buy communications gear and laptops of the type favored by terrorists. Many of these terrorist hackers have been arrested, but in this aspect of the war on terror, you don’t broadcast success. That’s because you want the people the hackers work with (rarely face-to-face) to believe the Islamic radical hackers are still in business. That way, you can identify more of the people involved, especially those terrorists on the receiving end of stolen money and goods.
While the pro-terrorist hackers have suffered a lot of losses, the use of PCs and the Internet had expanded rapidly among Moslems in the past decade. This has created a generation of young hackers, many of them eager to go after those they have always been taught to hate. For a Moslem kid, that mainly means Israel.
StrategyPage.com © 2012
Categories: Cyber Security, Intelligence Gathering, Internet, Security, Technology