Feeds

Solar Sunrise hacker joins Mid-East cyber-war

Pentagon humiliater turns on Palestinians

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The ongoing war of packet floods and Web defacements between pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian hacktivists saw a new and famous name enter the fray last week: Ehud Tenebaum, the Israeli hacker known as "The Analyzer," who was fingered by the US government in 1998 as the mastermind of one of the biggest Pentagon hack-attacks in history.

The twenty-one year old Tenebaum is serving as CTO of the security firm 2XS. Two weeks ago, according to Tenebaum, he heard from a hacker group he founded in 1996, called the Israeli Internet Underground (IIU). The group asked Tenebaum if his company would provide security solutions for Israeli companies for free.

"They claimed they are going to help all the Israeli sites that are under attack, or sites that there is a good reason to believe will be attacked," says Tenebaum. "I liked the idea in general."

The result was a partnership between 2XS, Tenebaum's company, and the IIU, now self-described white hat hackers aiming at a defensive role in the mid-East cyberwar.

The IIU established a Web site listing the names of companies and organizations in Israel that the group determined were vulnerable to intrusions. Organizations that found themselves on that list could contact 2XS, which provided them with patches, workarounds or advice on how to close the holes. "We agreed to provide a solution to anyone who wants a solution," says Tenebaum.

The project ended on Saturday, and Tenebaum pronounces it a success. "I can tell you we had hundreds of companies contacting 2XS."

Seven weeks of violence between Israelis and Palestinians has claimed at least 256 lives, according to CNN, which counts the dead as 218 Palestinians, 25 Israeli Jews and 13 Israeli Arabs.

Groups supporting both sides of the conflict have brought it on line with denial of service attacks, Web defacements and computer intrusions against their opponents' networks. "It's wrong to take these kinds of things to the Internet, because it involves a lot of companies that did nothing," says Tenebaum.

Israeli police searched Tenebaum's home, and detained Tenebaum, in March, 1998, while investigating what then-US Deputy Defence Secretary John Hamre called "the most organized and systematic attack to date" on US military systems. The attacks exploited a well-known vulnerability in the Solaris operating system, for which at that time a patch had been available for months.

The raid was the culmination of an investigation code named "Solar Sunrise," involving the FBI, the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, NASA, the Department of Justice, the Defence Information Systems Agency, the NSA, and the CIA. Two California teens were also charged in the case; both later received probation.

"This arrest should send a message to would-be computer hackers all over the world that the United States will treat computer intrusions as serious crimes," US Attorney General Janet Reno said at the time. "We will work around the world and in the depths of cyberspace to investigate and prosecute those who attack computer networks."

After a brief stint in the military, Tenebaum was indicted under Israeli computer crime laws in February 1999, and pleaded not guilty in September of that year. The case has languished in the courts since then. "I would prefer to have it finished soon," says Tenebaum. "This trial is keeping me from doing a lot of stuff that I need to do in the business world."

© 2000 SecurityFocus.com. All rights reserved.

Related Stories

Celebrity hacktivist joins the Mid-East cyber-war
Cyberwarfare levels the playing field
Cyberwar declared in the Middle East

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media
Not paying Murdoch? You're gonna get a right LEGALLING - thanks to automated software
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer quits Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.