Israelis Spooked by Threat of All-out Cyber Attack Next Week

Many Israelis have reported a virus being spread via Facebook, days before a major cyber offensive is expected to be launched on Israel by several hacker groups.

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Many Israelis have reported a virus being spread via Facebook, days before a major cyber offensive is expected to be launched on Israel by several hacker groups.

However, an Avnet Data Security executive says no clear association has been detected between the virus and the threatened cyber attack.

The virus is spread in a link by messages tagging many users, some of them sent from the Facebook account of Bekir Yangec and others from other users’ accounts. The message included links shortened by Bitly ‏(formerly Bit.ly‏), a URL shortening and bookmarking service, to the site orospumtugcebakir.com.

The Mizbala blog cites Bitly data showing that some 14,500 users ‏(about 15 percent of them Israelis‏) have clicked on the link and some 39,000 users (30 percent of them Israelis‏) shared it with friends.

It is not clear what the virus does, apart from spreading itself via Facebook. An examination of a number of services that monitor sites for malicious software does not provide a clear picture of the links, because the site has not been examined by them. The urlvoid.com site advises caution in approaching the site, because it was only registered 12 days ago and has not been examined yet.

It has recently been reported that several groups of hackers associated with the Anonymous hackers group are planning a massive cyber offensive against Israel on April 7, threatening to “wipe Israel off the Internet.”

But Ofir Ben Avi, manager of the official memshal zamin ‏(“accessible government”‏) website, told Haaretz last month he believes it will be possible to deal with the offensive in a similar way previous attacks were dealt with.

“It’s the kind of thing it seems we’ve had practice in, at least for the moment, although you never know what will really happen,” he said.

Roni Bachar, Penetration and Cyber Security Team Manager at Avnet Data Security, said only acts that have already been carried out are likely to be exposed on April 7.

“In general, all the hacker groups’ threats are not new and their threats have been known to us for many years. They have no rabbit to pull out of their hat, apart from setting the event at a certain date,” he said.

In the cyber offensive, the hackers are expected to use techniques they have employed in the past, such as DDoS ‏(Distributed Denial of Service‏) to topple sites by bombarding them with information, SQL injection ‏(a code injection technique that exploits a security vulnerability in an application’s software‏), and Trojan horse viruses by email.

Anonymous (illustrative).Credit: Wikipedia

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