Islamic Jihad cyber terrorist indicted for hacking IDF drones over Gaza

Efforts of 'master hacker' enabled Hamas commanders to view videofeeds of the drones.

Israeli Drone (illustrative) (photo credit: REUTERS)
Israeli Drone (illustrative)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Islamic Jihad master hacker Maagad Ben Juwad Oydeh was indicted in the Beersheba District Court on Wednesday for compromising IDF drones hovering over Gaza, enabling commanders in the Strip to view their video feeds.
The indictment filed by the Southern District Attorney’s Office also charged Oydeh with hacking into video cameras of the IDF, the police and the Road Safety Authority, enabling the terrorist group to study the location of civilians and IDF personnel in real-time as it was firing rockets into Israel from the Gaza Strip. He was also charged with spying, conspiracy, contact with enemy agents and membership in an illegal organization.
Oydeh’s hacking also allowed Islamic Jihad to keep track of the movement of airplanes at Ben-Gurion Airport, to view the passenger lists on incoming and outgoing flights, the type of airplane and its weight and landing and departure times, the indictment said.
Known as a computer and electronics engineer and master hacker, he joined the terrorist group in 2011 and first successfully hacked into the IDF’s drones as early as 2012.
Oydeh’s first contact with Islamic Jihad came in his father’s electronics store where he met Ismail Dahduah, known as Abu Jihad, in his capacity as an agent of the group.
Initially, Oydeh’s responsibilities were limited to working as an engineer and a presenter for the group’s radio station, which included incitement against Jews.
Even at this point, Oydeh received a monthly salary from Islamic Jihad.
Later, Dahduah asked Oydeh to help him hack into Israel’s Road Safety Authority cameras. Oydeh hacked in so that Dahduah could view their video feed on his laptop and even record it.
Next, Dahduah asked that Oydeh hack into IDF drones flying over the Gaza Strip. Oydeh bought from the US all of the required machinery and technology, and worked on the project for weeks.
He failed to hack into the drones twice, before succeeding on the third try. Oydeh could then also pinpoint the GPS coordinates of all IDF drones.
They continued compromising the drones from 2012 until 2014, when the hacking was blocked.
In 2013, Dahduah asked Oydeh to hack into Israeli Cellcom and Orange cellphones and Palestinian Jawwal firm cellphones to help locate Israeli moles within Islamic Jihad.
Oydeh succeeded in penetrating Jawwal, but failed to break through Cellcom’s and Orange’s firewalls.
Also, in 2013, Dahduah asked Oydeh to hack into various Ben-Gurion Airport information centers and video feeds to assist in striking airplanes there with rockets.
To do so, Oydeh stole an entrance code from American Jon Metrick who had access to all of the desired data. He then changed the username and password in order to control the account going forward.
In April 2013, Dahduah called Oydeh to his house for a meeting in which he and other agents in the group said they wanted to send him to Iran for further training in technologies to help fight Israel.
Oydeh was accepted by Iran for training, but at the last moment a disagreement within Islamic Jihad ended the initiative.
Moving into other areas for the group, from 2014 until September 2015, Oydeh administered loans to Islamic Jihad members using money provided by Tehran.
In 2015, Dahduah turned his gaze to Hamas, hacking into its Interior Ministry’s records to help Islamic Jihad learn details about potential recruits and to better check the commitment of Islamic Jihad agents to the organization.
Up until his arrest by Israel in 2016, Oydeh continued to repair and upgrade Islamic Jihad’s computers, video cameras and other technologies.