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Palestinian crackers give out tools to attack Israelis

To be used 'only against Jews'

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Palestinian crackers have set up a portal that provides one-stop access to hacking tools and viruses, and tips on how to use the tools to mount attacks on Iraeli firms.

The move can be seen as a response to Israel's attempt to recruit computer security experts, including Analyzer, who successfully cracked into the Pentagon, as agents for Mossad tasked to defend the Jewish state's electronic infrastructure.

According to a report on Wired, visitors to the Palestinian cracker site are asked to sign up to the pledge that: "I swear that I will not use these programs on anyone but Jews and Israelis."

The site, whose address has not yet been widely circulated, contains code for the Love Bug, CIH and Melissa viruses along with other hacking tools.

Of course most of these programs are available on virus writers site or through Usenet newsgroups, but this cache of cracker tools, extends the number of people who can use these techniques.

Pro-Palestinian crackers have been aggressively working through .il sites and, according to security firm iDefense, which is keeping close tabs on the situation, 90 or more Web sites have been hit during the conflict.

In all more than 115 sites have been targeted by both sides in denial-of-service attacks, system penetrations, defacements and a variety of other attacks. EvilPing, a variation of the Ping of Death attack, has been created especially for this war and is been actively used. The tool launches a "ping of death attack" that, when utilised by several users against the same target, crashes the system.

Groups such as UNITY, dodi and G-Force Pakistan are pitched against groups such as Hackers of Israel Unite to see who can cause the most damage.

Among the sites targeted have been the Palestinian National Authority site and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

This figure can only rise due to the efforts of the Palestinian digital quartermaster but its important to keep the amount of damage caused in perspective.

There is little convincing evidence that attempts by either side have, as yet, impacted the core business of any organisation attacked. Rather the use of the techniques of cyber-terrorism show that neither side is leaving any stone unturned that might be thrown against the other. Make no mistake this is a bitter and tragic conflict but the real damage is happening on the streets, not in cyberspace. ®

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Cyberwar in the Middle East

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