Turkish hackers attack Anglo-run Israeli startup

Web site pages replaced by demands for Israeli apology to Turkey; "Israel is not a superior country...we will teach them this."

September 13, 2011 19:44
2 minute read.
The hacked Web site

turkish hackers 311. (photo credit: Courtesy Yonatan Caras)


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An Anglo-run Israeli start-up said Tuesday that it was the victim of a cyber-attack launched by suspected Turkish hackers, and called on other Israeli hi-tech firms to step up their security in order to avoid falling victim themselves.

Yonatan Caras, the 28-year-old Maryland native who founded the startup "appstudio.co.il", said that his company has suffered "spamming" attacks in the past, but nothing close to the security breach that was carried out earlier this week.

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Caras said that every page of his website was replaced by an image that shows a stylized Palestinian flag and the words "Israel has to apologize from [sic] Turkey and all Islamic world because of their cruelty. Unless they apologize, we Akincilar who is the virtual castle of Turkey will show our protest in everywhere," written in English and Turkish.

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The message continues "Israel is not a innocent and superior country. We have to teach them that Israel is an ordinary country. If they learn this, then there will be peace in the Middle East. We are the nation who will teach them this."

When asked why he thinks he was targeted Caras said "we reach out to the development community and we're very open about the fact that we're Israeli and when we interact with new customers we let them know we're Israel and openly Israeli."

Caras added that his company's team "is made up mostly of Anglo immigrants to Israel and we've seen other startups that try to downplay that they're Israeli start-ups and it's [being Israeli] something that we've embraced."

When asked what advice he has for other Israeli hi-tech companies, he said "our developers religiously make backups so that the moment we were notified that our site had been hacked we went to our backup. We're now investigating ways of preventing this in the future."

Last June, the Tel Aviv City Hall web site and hundreds of other Israeli websites were taken down by a group of suspected Turkish hackers. Those attacks took place the same week that dozens of Israelis had their personal profiles on Facebook hacked.

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