An anti-Israel hacking collective affiliated with Anonymous says it has initiated a widespread cyber attack against the Jewish state, penetrating websites affiliated with the Mossad security service and a slew of related entities.
The hackers claimed late Friday that they have obtained and released personal information relating to 35,000 Israeli government officials, including politicians, military leaders, and police officers, according to a Twitter feed associated with the hackers.
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A comprehensive spreadsheet purporting to include the information of all 35,000 Israeli officials was published by the website Cryptome, though it did not independently verify the information.
The coalition of hackers appears to have ties to the Iranian government, Pakistan, Syria, Egypt, and the terror group Hezbollah, according to a report published by Cryptome.
The hackers have united under the banner of online movement called "OpIsrael."
Their stated goal is to "remove the Israel from WWW (World Wide Web)," according to The Hackers Post, which has been following the group’s activities targeting Israel.
"It looks like hacker target [sic] different Israeli servers and hacked the websites," Hackers Post reported.
The anti-Israel hackers say they perpetrated their attacks to protest treatment of the Palestinians.
"The reason for hacking Israeli websites was to raise voice of Palestine’s [sic] who are under hell created by Israel and left a deface page [on the hacked websites] displaying images of Palestinians affected by Israeli shelling," the Hackers Post wrote.
Hackers left vitriolic and offensive messages on the websites they accessed, according to the Hackers Post.
"We Not Forgive [sic] What You Have Done To Our Family !!! Long Live Palestine!!" stated one hacker’s message.
A Turkish group may be responsible for publicly releasing the data associated with thousands of Israeli officials, according to the Kremlin-funded Russian propaganda outlet RT.
"The data was released by a hacker team going by the name of ‘The Red Hack,’ a Turkish group, while the direct denial-of-service attack targeted at Mossad was attributed to another group operating under the moniker ‘Sektor 404,’ RT reported.
It is believed that the loosely tied together hackers are gearing up to launch a major cyber strike against Israel on April 7.
Internet users that claim to be affiliated with Anonymous have carried out attacks against Israel in the past. A similar hack occurred in November of last year.
"The hacking teams have decided to unite against Israel as one entity and that Israel should be getting prepared to be ‘erased’ from the Internet," an Anonymous member told the Hackers Post earlier this month.
Cryptome’s analysis of the hacking collective found that they have loosely united based on their distaste for Israel.
"Our analysis to the moment shows not much of coordination [sic] between these groups contrary to the popular belief and the sum of human resources all together to the best of our current analysis is not more than 50 individuals," Crytome’s report stated.
"The collectives with Arab leanings are not much advanced," the report said. "The teams with Pakistani, Syrians and Lebanese members are more advanced and reported to have ties with governments. Iranian teams are just using the situation to harm Israel and U.S interests and reported to be directly funded by IRGC and MOIS, the Iranian Intelligence."