Hacker in a hood.
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Thousands of people across the Middle East received unsolicited text messages calling for the death of Jews as a result of a 2013 hack of telecommunications firm SMSGlobal, The Guardian reported on Tuesday.
According to the report, in April an unknown hacker attempted to send the message “Our motto forever Death to America, Death to the Jews” to some four million people using data stolen from the company in 2013. While most of the messages were blocked by the firm, around five thousand made their way through to users primarily in the United Arab Emirates.
Both military hacking and “hacktivism” – the use of computer attacks in the service of a political cause – have been a part of the Arab-Israeli conflict for years.
Last month, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz’s twitter account was taken over, with tweets such as: “The memory of the Balfour Declaration has changed the situation, wait for the massacre that will be arriving soon” and “The mothers of our martyrs will drink the blood of your soldiers and settlers” posted in the place of the usual news articles.
Another tweet reads, “The holocaust of the Balfour Declaration will continue the knife intifada.”
The post was accompanied by a disturbing image of a wounded Israeli victim, a clear reference to the current murderous terrorist attacks in Israel and the West Bank.
In November it was reported that European authorities have taken action to shut down a cyber espionage operation linked to Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard that was linked to spying on Israeli nuclear scientists, among other targets.
In April, the international hacking group Anonymous said it will target Israeli websites in a coordinated effort it called an “electronic Holocaust” against servers, government and military websites, banks and public institutions, in a repeat of its actions during last year’s Gaza conflict.
During that conflict, the hacking collective posted contact information of senior Israeli officials and took down several governmental and civilian websites.
According to a 2014 ADL poll, more than half of local teens have reported being attacked online because they are Israeli.
JTA, Jerusalem Post staff and Reuters contributed to this report.