Strategic Security Intelligence

Cyber War in the Middle East

Recent Cyber War Events from the Middle East

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Intelligence Advisories:


MAGLAN: 2001/02/10

On early January 2001, the cyber-conflict between Israel and Palestine / Pro-Palestinian (official named: Al-Aqsa Cyber Conflict) apparently finished. MAGLAN-LAB broad analysis indicts that the mentioned conflict has nothing related with any type of "xxxxx Terrorism" (Cyber Terrorism, Digital Terrorism etc.). 'Al-Aqsa Cyber Conflict' was and remains a low level mass hacking activity with few smart manoeuvres.

The 'iDefense' ( published on Jan. 3, 2001 a comprehensive report over the Cyber conflict over the Middle East. On Jan. 22, 2001, MAGLAN-LAB accomplished the final draft report: "Al-Aqsa Cyber Conflict - Net Intelligence Aspects" and finished observing the Al-Aqsa Cyber Conflict.

Internet used for kidnapping and killing Israeli Youth

The Internet "war" assumed new dimensions here last week, when a 23-year-old Palestinian woman, posing as an American tourist, apparently used the Internet to lure a 16-year-old Israeli boy to the Palestinian Authority areas so he could be murdered.

Hanan Sher
The Jerusalem Report

U.S. Maintains Computer Export Controls To M.E.
Source : Middle East News Line

The United States has refused to include the Middle East in a relaxation of export controls on high performance computers.

The revisions on U.S. export controls eases restrictions on countries in Central and South America, most of Africa and East Asia. Administration officials said President Bill Clinton will leave a decision on whether to relax export controls on Middle East nations to the incoming administration of President-elect George W. Bush.

The United States will allow exports to send computers to most of the Middle East of up to 28,000 millions of theoretical operations per second [MTOPS] without a license. Individual licenses will be required for exports above this level until 85,000 MTOPS, or the equivalent of 32 Pentium IIIs.

The exceptions are Iraq, Iran, Libya, Sudan and Syria. The United States will maintain a virtual embargo on computer hardware and technology exports to these countries. Administration officials cited concerns that these countries could use high-performance computers to build nuclear weapons.Officials said the export controls were relaxed on many countries where computer sales have been brisk. The Middle East, part of a grouping called Tier 3, comprises about five percent of U.S. export sales in computers. Commerce Undersecretary William Reinsch said he envisioned a lifting of controls from most Middle East countries, except for Iraq, Iran, Libya, Sudan and Syria. But he said this would be up to the incoming administration.

2001-01-12 - The information war redirected

It looks like the information war has moved from defacing web sites to engaging people in political dialogues and soliciting experts to help forth the cyber battle. Here is an example of the sort of propaganda we are now seeing emailed in large quantity - presumably to people believed to be Palestinian citizens. In addition, individuals are now soliciting assistance in supporting the Palestinian site of the cyber war. Here is an example solicitation and follow-up.

2001/01/03 MAGLAN - Information Warfare Research Lab.

Today, the Israeli Police, seized for investigation four Israelis, blamed for planning an enormous 'Christmas-Mass-Attacks' against US targets (!). The operation coordinates with the FBI. Few detailed were delivering today for publication:

The First Middle-East Cyber Conflict - Update 2000/12/30 - 21:21(GMT)

Extensive cyber strike against Israel - More than 80 web sites attacked and intrude last night

MAGLAN - Information Warfare Research Lab. published on the 27.12.00 a warning regarding new cyber attack's sequence between Israeli and Palestine's as part of the on-going First Cyber-Conflict over the Middle. The warning was published immediately after the a Pro-Israeli Hacker was strike and intrude the official Hizbollah web site, while in parallel the Pro-Palestine's hackers groups were act in response immediately - lunching broad Israeli systems scanning and Denial of Service attacks.

The big hit arrived yesterday night when 81 Israeli web sites were intruded and defaced by the Pro-Palestine's Hackers. The attackers left behind various messages against Israel, e.g.: "Are we cyber terrorists simply because we seek to bring light to the millions that you have emerged in darkness? For well over 4 decades, your fascist, racist, Zionist regime has been gradually committing genocide against the Palestinian people, denying them not only their rightful land you stripped away from them, but also the basic human rights of society. The world is against you Israel, but the good-willed, good-hearted American people you have deceived still stand loyally on your side." Between the Web site that was attacked founds: The Embassy of Israel, Wellington New Zealand, Jaffa Port and many more, a list can be over web site.

Preliminarily Analysis by MAGLAN-LAB indicated that the attackers exploited the Internet web application, while using a Hidden Comments, based on HTML embed comments into the code, while few sophisticated offensive scripts were exposed. Moreover, the network scans and probing of Israeli networks dramatically enlarge in the last 12 hours. MAGLAN-Lab assumes that the attack's sequence not yet finished and more to come over the next days.

MAGLAN Update 2000/12/28 21:21 GMT

MAGLAN-LBA published yesterday a warning regarding the restarting of Cyber Conflict (maybe and simply 'Digital Conflict?) over the Middle East. Here are few updates:

MAGLAN Information Warfare Research Lab - 2000/12/27

MAGLAN - Information Warfare Research Lab. warning from a new cyber attack's sequence between Israeli and Palestine's as part of the on-going First Cyber-Conflict over the Middle.

Reducing at the Internet attacks, e.g.: Denial of Services, Web Defacement combined and Network Intrusion operations was observed in the last 22 days. However, yesterday evening Pro-Israeli Hacker was strike and intrude the official Hizbollah web site The main web page was replaced: Pictures of the 3 Israelis soldiers captures by the Hizbolla and messages calling to "free our solider" were put on.

The Pro-Palestine's hackers groups were act in response immediately - lunching broad Israeli systems scanning and Denial of Service attacks. More over, the Pro-Palestine's hackers groups utilized few sophisticated offensive scripts and alarmed their supporters for immediate offensive cyber-action against Israel. First Israeli targets were the Israel Defence Forces web site and the Israeli Minister of foreign Affairs web site (part of the Israeli Governmental Internet Network). Up to now no any results were noted for the Pro-Palestine's activity.

Although web defacement judges as a low-level hacking techniques it consider an aggressive action that may lead for new phase in the cyber-conflict between Israeli and Palestine's.

Impotent note: MAGLAN-Lab. research was and remains non-aligned with any side of the opponents, comments are welcome and can be send to

Update - 'Pointers' - 2000/12/20 - MAGLAN

Escalating Middle East Cyberwar may prove too costly for Israeli businesses - 'When we intrude into [computer] systems we do not harm/delete/view any of the data on the system, as we are only there for the purpose of raising global awareness [on the Intifada],' a 'hacktivist' from Gforce tells DIT

Israeli hackers attack major Saudi ISP - In the latest spate of attacks on Arab and Israeli Web sites, Saudi Online suffers defacement, which raises the question of how secure are Saudi ISPs against unauthorized intrusion.

Cyber-Conflict over the Middle-east - MAGLAN Update December 18, 2000, 09:00 (GMT)

More than 12 days with no cyber conflict's direct events, no any coordinated attacks and no denial of service activity. Although, few headlines were published while a small number of web defacements, port probing and scanning were noted.

The majority of the Israeli and Palestinians cyber-conflict undergrounds are no longer operating, few were published a message over their web site calling for "cyber peace", chats "war room" were closed, and the mailing lists exchange information dramatically decreases.

Cyber-Conflict over the Middle-east - Update December 13, 2000, 07:26 (GMT +00:00)

Palestinian hack-tivists getting organized

The Star (Amman)

By Zeid Nasser

Posted Monday December 11, 2000 - 11:54:35 AM EST

Amman - THERE HAS been talk recently about the emergence of websites = that serve as a meeting place for Palestinians and their supporters, = proliferating the exchange of digital weaponry for use against Israeli = websites and users. These digi-weapons are basically advanced hacking = tools and viruses complete with tips and explanations on the means of = waging an attack. This is quite a development and it truly takes the = issue of Internet-aided conflicts to a higher level.

Full article from:

Update 2000/12/12, 06:12(GMT) - MAGLAN-Information Warfare Research Lab.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Islamic Republic of Iran web site - - was defaced by the Israeli underground "m0sad".

The hackers left behind a revenge message "... Now it's time for revenge. Note: Remember you are not the last... there will be more... much more. You will sorry for killing our peoples and children's... Here in CyberSpace you will be our victims... until you will stop the Islamic aggression."

MAGLAN-LAB reports on an increased quality attacks executed by the Israeli underground "m0sad" in the last few weeks against Islamic webs and networks, e.g. :

Update 2000/12/09, 09:08 (GMT) - MAGLAN-Information Warfare Research Lab.

The Israeli underground web site (the fake Lebanese resistance group Hizballa - has announced by his operators as non-active.

This web site joined to tree other Israeli underground web sites that recently were closed by their founders. In some cases a message calling to stop the cyber conflicts between Israeli and Palestine were left behind.

MAGLAN - Information Warfare Research Lab., can confirmed the decreased numbers of cyber clashes from one hand and the increased of sophisticated InfoWar / CyberTerror activity from the other hand. more details

2000/12/04, 13:43 GMT, Published by Israel's Business Arena

Overseas Hackers Strike Again: Israel Land Administration Shuts Down Most of its Web Site

Elazar Levin

The Israel Land Administration (ILA) was forced to close most of its Internet site last Fridey, due to damage caused by hostile overseas hackers. From now on and until further notice, there is therefore no possibility of receiving the results of the ILA=92s new or previous tenders dated after January 1998.

In contrast to the damage to tenders, other parts of the site providing general information are still operating.

The damage caused by the hackers began in the middle of last week. The ILA attempted to overcome the malfunction, but decided by the end of the week that there was no alternative to closing most of the site.

Among other effects, closing the site means that developers and contractors wishing to participate in ILA tenders are unable to obtain the tender details. The ILA recommends that these parties follow parallel announcements in the daily press.

ILA acting director-general Miron Chumash told =93Globes=94 that he hopes that the site will renew its functioning within a few days. Meanwhile, the ILA is preparing alternate means of providing the information. The damage by hostile hackers follows similar operations in recent weeks, which among other things damaged the Ministry of Foreign Affairs web site.

2000/12/03: Trends in the War

It appears that the Palestinans have decided to carry their information war directly to all Jews and all Israelis worldwide. The following are examples.

The news media is now reporting Palestinian collaboration for global cyber attacks:

Attacks are being carried out from wider varieties of sources against broader sets of targets. Here is a recent example (2000/11/30):

The Palestinian "" site is increasing it rhetoric against the United States and Israel while broadening its audience:

Update 2000/12/03, 14:53 (GMT) - MAGLAN-Information Warfare Research Lab.

The Cyber conflicts influenced directly from the situation over ground, while from both sides of the opponents the physical clashes and violence becomes sad routine. Every few days new cyber worrier "underground" rise, while in parallel key preventing-procedures are completed. Since the cyber conflict reflects the physical conflicts the events expect to be dramatically revolutionize from day to day, while Christen (Christmas), Jewish (Honokaa) and Muslim (Ramadan) holidays and vacation seems to be factors that should be consider. The most annoying part are the "swift Information Security analyst" based on expert's inquiry and "extraordinary intelligence" resources, that delivering us intimidating headlines over the media, while a fraction of those "swift Information Security analyst" are even try to formulate a profit of it, while proposing to commercial clients an immediate immunization plan.

Israel: Major steps are accomplished on the InfoWar intelligence arena, apparently far above the young crackers of denial of service and mail flooders as we were observed before. No public information is available or can be release at this time.

Pro-Palestines: Successful virus and web defacement, apparently the common and practice offensives action against Israeli targets. Only few numbers of networks were intruding over the Firewall zones. Networks scanning and amazing Internet propaganda activity are taking place.