Israeli Hackers Vow to Defend

by Carmen J. Gentile

2:00 a.m. Nov. 15, 2000 PST

A group of self-described ethical hackers are taking the reins of the Israelis' Web networks into their own hands in the Middle East's cyberwar.

Known as the Israeli Internet Underground, the coalition of anonymous online activists from various Israeli technology companies has set up a website to disseminate information concerning the ongoing battle in cyberspace. From:,1283,40187,00.html

According to the IIU mantra, they are "dedicated to the Israeli spirit and united to protect Israel on the Internet against any kind of attacks from malicious hacking groups."

The site claims to provide a comprehensive list of sites that were hacked by Arab attackers since the cyberwar went into full swing on Oct. 6.

Listed are over 40 Israeli sites that have been defaced and vandalized by various hacking groups. The number coincides with estimates provided by officials at iDefense, an international private intelligence outfit in Washington that is monitoring the ongoing war.

IIU also provides a list of Israeli sites that they believe run services with commonly known security holes like BIND NXT overflow, IIS 4 holes and FTP format string bugs.

Examples of defacements by Arab hackers such as the one perpetrated on the homepage of, one of the largest Jewish booksellers on the Web, serve as a warning to those Israeli sites with suspect security.

The text and graphics were recently replaced with the word "Palestine" in flaming letters and with text asking Israelis if the torah teaches them to kill innocent kids and rape women. The site is currently under construction due to the attack.

Taking credit for the attack is the group GForce Pakistan, a well-known activist group that has joined forces with Palestinians and other Arab hackers in fighting the cyberwar against Israeli interests.

Working alongside the group is the highly skilled Arab hacker named dodi. On November 3, dodi defaced an Israeli site and stated he could shut down the Israeli ISP NetVision, host of almost 70 percent of the country's Internet traffic.

Though petty defacements and racial slurs have been the norm on both sides of the battle, Arab hackers like dodi have promised to kick the war into high gear in the coming days, implementing what they refer to as phases three and four of their "cyber-jihad."

The Muslim extremist group UNITY, with ties to Hezbollah, laid out a four-part plan for destroying the Israeli Internet infrastructure at the onset of the cyberwar. Phase four culminates in blitzing attacks on e-commerce sites, "causing millions of dollars of losses in transactions."

IIU said there is already evidence of phase-four attacks, such as the destruction of business sites with e-commerce capabilities, which they believe caused a recent 8 percent dip in the Israeli stock exchange.