Feeds

Experts doubt Anonymous Mossad spy outing claims are kosher

Tinker, tailor, soldier, cobblers

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Hacktivists claim to have published leaked data on more than 30,000 Israeli officials, including members of Israel's Mossad secret service agency.

The boast by members of Anonymous follows a denial of service attack against the Mossad website (www.mossad.gov.il) over the weekend as part of the ongoing #OpIsrael protest. Previously obscure Anonymous affiliate Sector 404 launched the DDoS attack while elements of Anonymous and a Turkish hacker collective called RedHack carried out the data snatch and dump. Experts are however doubtful that leaked information is kosher.

The leaked data - including names, email addresses and physical addresses - were released in the form of spreadsheets through HackerLeaks, Google Docs and other sites and services. A small percentage of the leaked data include ID numbers and phone numbers.

Middle East Internet expert Dr Tal Pavel told the Times of Israel that the data probably referred to Israeli citizens but is unlikely to be a secret list of spies and members of the Israeli defence forces, as the hacktivists claim.

"There is no doubt that they got some identification information about Israelis, but the claims that they hacked the Mossad site and got a list of Mossad agents is most likely psychological warfare, and not a hack into an important database," says Pavel, who has downloaded and analysed the leaked documents.

The data contain many duplicate records, list people with homes in Palestinian towns and links to businesses addresses such as schools, show manufacturers and charities. Pavel, a professor at Tel Aviv University and director of the Middle East Internet Monitor website, reckons the information came from earlier breaches involving Israeli citizens, rather than a new attack against Mossad and the military.

Forbes is also skeptical, even going so far as to suggest that parts of the list had already appeared online months before last weekend's events and noting the implausibility of foreign-based Mossad operatives maintaining Israeli email addresses.

Neither the Israeli government nor Mossad has commented on the claimed breach. ®

Bootnote

#OpIsrael is building up to a planned attack on 7 April that aims at "erasing Israel from the internet" in protest against its treatment of the Palestinian people.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day
Goog the perfect ruse to slip into SEO orfice
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.