Three Israelis among dozens arrested in global sting on hacking forum

By
July 15, 2015 18:46

Israeli suspects include an Israeli Arab who is believed to have used his hacking prowess to assist a terror group hostile to Israel.

3 minute read.



police cyber

Police cyber crime unit. (photo credit: POLICE SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

Three Israelis – including an Arab accused of aiding a terrorist group – were arrested this week as part of a global sting led by the FBI against a hacking forum, it was cleared for publication on Wednesday.

The site www.Darkode.com was taken down on Tuesday by a joint law enforcement effort led by the FBI in collaboration with the EU’s Europol and law enforcement agencies in 18 countries, including the Israel Police cyber crimes unit. More than 70 suspects have been arrests since the raids began, including alleged hackers from the United Kingdom, India, South America, the United States, Eastern Europe, the former Yugoslavia and Israel.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The homepage of Darkode.com currently shows a message from the FBI saying the domain has been seized by the law enforcement agency and several others acting through Europol. Around the message are the seals of police departments from more than a dozen countries.

The Israeli suspects include an Arab who is believed to have used his hacking prowess to assist a terrorist group hostile to Israel, by passing on either money or stolen data; an official from the Israel Police cybercrimes unit said he could not disclose which group.

The other two suspects are brothers from central Israel.


(Homepage of the hacking forum "Darkode.com", after it was seized in the FBI-led operation this week)

Three Israelis – including an Arab accused of aiding a terrorist group – were arrested this week as part of a global sting led by the FBI against a hacking forum, it was cleared for publication on Wednesday.

The site www.Darkode.com was taken down on Tuesday by a joint law enforcement effort led by the FBI in collaboration with the EU’s Europol and law enforcement agencies in 18 countries, including the Israel Police cybercrimes unit. More than 70 suspects have been arrests since the raids began, including alleged hackers from the United Kingdom, India, South America, the United States, Eastern Europe, the former Yugoslavia and Israel.
Police cyber crime unit situation room

The homepage of Darkode.com currently shows a message from the FBI saying the domain has been seized by the law enforcement agency and several others acting through Europol. Around the message are the seals of police departments from more than a dozen countries.

The Israeli suspects include an Arab who is believed to have used his hacking prowess to assist a terrorist group hostile to Israel, by passing on either money or stolen data; an official from the Israel Police cybercrimes unit said he could not disclose which group.

The other two suspects are brothers from central Israel.

The identities of the three suspects were not cleared for publication for the time being. All three were brought for a remand extension at the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday and were ordered kept in custody until Sunday.

Since the site went online in 2007, its been used as a black market for hundreds of people to meet and collaborate, and buy and sell stolen data, including credit card information, email addresses and passwords, and personal details to aid in identity theft.

An officer from the Israel Police cybercrimes unit on Wednesday called the forum “a factory for the production of cyber weapons.” It was also a popular meeting place for hackers looking to contract other cyber criminals to carry out attacks for them. For instance, hackers looking to carry out a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS) could take to the forum and hire someone to do it for them, in exchange for payments made in bitcoins, the online currency. Payments were also made with money transfer to bank accounts, which the Israel Police said indicates the level of freedom the forum members thought they had on the website.

The site was invitation only. To become members, people had to have two members recommend them, and then show examples of cyberattacks they had carried out in the past, a sort of “hacking portfolio” as one official from the Israel Police cybercrimes unit said on Wednesday.

The FBI on Tuesday sent agents from its Israel liaison office to the Lod headquarters of the police’s LAHAV 433 unit, to monitor the arrests taking place worldwide. In a situation room, the FBI agents and officers from the cybercrimes unit watched a screen that showed the countries where the raids were being carried out, as well as the names of the suspects being arrested in real-time, police said.


Related Content

Workers strike outside of the Teva building in Jerusalem, December 2017
December 18, 2017
Workers make explosive threats as massive Teva layoff strikes continue

By MAX SCHINDLER

Israel Weather
  • 8 - 16
    Beer Sheva
    12 - 16
    Tel Aviv - Yafo
  • 8 - 11
    Jerusalem
    11 - 15
    Haifa
  • 11 - 20
    Elat
    11 - 17
    Tiberias