Hackers take credit card numbers from pro-israel site

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread


New York Times News Service November 3, 2000 The Web site for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a lobbying group, was defaced Wednesday with anti-Israeli commentary--an increasingly common occurrence as the escalating conflict between Israelis and Palestinians has spilled over into cyberspace.

But this time the intruders also downloaded some 3,500 e-mail addresses and 700 credit card numbers from the site, sent anti-Israeli diatribes to the mailing list, and published the credit card data on the Internet.

"This hack is to protest against the atrocities in Palestine by the barbarian Israeli soldiers and their constant support by the U.S. government," said a manifesto that the attackers put in place of the lobbying group's home page.

A spokesman for the lobbying organization, known as Aipac, confirmed the theft of the e-mail addresses and credit card numbers, which visitors to the site had supplied in signing up with the group for membership or services.

The group spent much of Wednesday night and Thursday morning contacting those on the list to warn them to look for unauthorized charges on their credit cards and to take precautions against computer viruses that might be sent to them by e-mail. It also shut down access to its site.

The group named in the manifesto, the Pakistan Hackerz Club, is known in hacker circles for an unusual blend of political activism and Web site vandalism, said B.K. DeLong, who works with attrition.org, a non-profit Web site that monitors hacking activity.

In an e-mail message claiming responsibility for the attack on behalf of the hackers' group, an individual identifying himself as Doctor Nuker said he was motivated by his anger over the Middle East conflict and by what he called lies on the lobbying group's Web site.

Saying his group was formed "to hack for the injustice going around the globe, especially with Muslims," he added: "Aipac is not the end. I'm going to hack more sites of this sort and will sure do the maximum damage I can!"

Attrition.org said the group's previous exploits included attacks on Web sites of the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in Britain and a UN site in India.

The attackers often refer to the conflict in Kashmir and include an animated message that reads "Kashmir is burning--time is running out."

Kenneth Bricker, a spokesman for the lobbying organization, said that the hacker was able to gather the names, Internet addresses and telephone and credit card numbers only from those people who had contacted Aipac through its Web site.

The broader list of the organization's 55,000 members, which he referred to as "the crown jewels of Aipac," are stored on a separate computer system "that was never compromised, never at risk," he said.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), November 03, 2000


Ca noe

Friday, November 3, 2000

Mideast hackers attack

By D. IAN HOPPER -- The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Pakistani-based hackers attacked a U.S. Web site belonging to a pro-Israel lobby Wednesday, stealing credit card numbers and member records in the latest volley in what has become an online war between Israel and Arabs.

The attack, against the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, consisted of the hackers defacing its Web site with pro-Palestinian slogans and e-mails downloaded from the Web site databases.

The lobby confirmed the attack and has reported it to the FBI, according to The Washington Post , which, with The New York Times, reported the story Friday.

The Pakistan Hackerz Club, which consists of at least two members known as "Doctor Nuker" and "Mr--Sweet," took responsibility for the attack and their logo appeared on the defaced Web site, which has since been repaired.

The hackers wrote, "The hack is to protest against the atrocities in Palestine by the barbarian Israeli soldiers and their constant support by the US government. Instead of writing articles or putting pictures of Israel's atrocities in Palestine, this time I've put emails and comments that I got from the Web site."

The comments, downloaded from the Web site itself, were pro-Palestinian.

The hackers also downloaded the credit card information and made the numbers public on other Web sites run by the club. An AIPAC official told The Post that the 700 affected members have been notified of the incident.

B.K. DeLong, a staff member of Attrition.org, which records Web site defacements, told The Associated Press Friday that this form of hacking is meant more for the general public than the target government.

"I'm not sure if political leaders in the center of the issue being brought up in the defacements really pay attention to them unless it happens to be their own organization, government or departmental Web site," said DeLong. "However they do enlighten the general public to the situation or perhaps people in other countries who are tech savvy but may not be aware of the issue."

In the past year, the Pakistan Hackerz Club has defaced over a hundred Web sites. Normally, its attacks are targeted against Indian government and business Web sites, where they post statements and pictures supporting Muslim Kashmiris.

Hacktivism -- as the mix of hacking and activism is called -- on the whole is on the rise, as the practice is easy for young, opinionated and perhaps disaffected youths who look for a way to strike out against governments with little risk. With so many Web sites available to them as targets, it's easy for them to find one with lax security, ripe for an attack.

Since violence flared up between Israelis and Palestinians several weeks ago, Web site administrators on both sides have been busy defending their sites against attack from enemy hackers attempting to win a propaganda war against the other side.

In the volleys, hackers have targeted the Web sites of the Knesset, Israel's Parliament, an Israeli Internet provider and several sites run by the Hezbollah guerrillas.

On Oct. 26, the National Infrastructure Protection Center, the FBI's cyber cops, warned that U.S. government and private-sector Web sites may become potential targets in the online skirmish.

Still, DeLong said, the vast majority of defaced Web sites are done as mischief.

"You'll notice that most defacements are either one-line statements of victory or long rambling tirades of nonsense and greets," DeLong said. "PHC (Pakistan Hackerz Club) is one of the few groups that has consistantly defaced Web sites in the name of a cause."

-- Rachel Gibson (rgibson@hotmail.com), November 03, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ