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The Internet Politics

Israel, Palestine Wage Web War 951

Posted by kdawson
from the spilling-over dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A war has erupted on the Internet between Israel and Palestine, alongside the war being fought on the ground in Gaza. A new report claims that a group called the 'DNS Team' has defaced an Israeli Website, with anti-Israel graphical images — one in a series of instances of 'e-vandalism.' This sort of e-vandalism, says the author, is not only an inconvenience for Webmasters, but many of the images contain malware links and 'redirects or Flash links to Jihadist forums or blogs.' However, while the Jihadist forums are registered in Saudi Arabia, they are hosted by companies like Layered Tech and SoftLayer in Plano, Texas. On the Israeli side, 'A fascinating approach over the last few days is being made by an Israeli Website, "Help Israel Win," which provides a download so your PC can become part of a worldwide pro-Israeli botnet. So far 7,786 have joined, already a fairly powerful global computing force...'"
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Israel, Palestine Wage Web War

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  • Oh boy... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 06, 2009 @03:48PM (#26347309)

    In before shitstorm.

    • by Shakrai (717556) on Tuesday January 06, 2009 @03:49PM (#26347343) Journal

      Naw, this conversation about the Middle East will be totally different from the last three or four we've had. Mark my works: Peace will break out in the Middle East and it will eventually be traced back to this one slashdot discussion ;)

      • Re:Oh boy... (Score:5, Informative)

        by El Torico (732160) on Tuesday January 06, 2009 @03:53PM (#26347431)
        Mark my works: Peace will break out in the Middle East...
        Yeah, a Carthaginian Peace.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Abreu (173023)

          Debellatio is another latin term that describes the aims of both parties in this conflict.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 06, 2009 @04:11PM (#26347779)

      The Palestinian hackers blew themselves up after they hacked in to the Israeli website. Old habits die hard...

  • Why is this News? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by WED Fan (911325) <akahige.trashmail@net> on Tuesday January 06, 2009 @03:48PM (#26347337) Homepage Journal
    This is a natural extension of war now-a-days. This is akin to saying, "Soldiers Now Using Bullets in War".
    • by DriedClexler (814907) on Tuesday January 06, 2009 @04:03PM (#26347639)

      This is a natural extension of war now-a-days. This is akin to saying, "Soldiers Now Using Bullets in War".

      If the dominant hand-held projectile weapon were still the musket, or people just still believed that, then yes, it would be news!

      Anyway you may be interested in knowing that not but 5 months before, in the Russia/Georgia war the previous August, exactly the same thing was going on [slate.com] and an intrepid Slate reporter got involved in downloading botnet software from pro-Russian hackers.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by philspear (1142299)

      It's news for 2 reasons

      1. War of any type, even in places where there is always war, is news
      2. Its a step up from the usual tactics of this place.

  • by sunking2 (521698) on Tuesday January 06, 2009 @03:49PM (#26347361)
    Lets have a little bit of perspective and not put some web sites being trashed in the same category as bombs and missiles flying around. The world could do with a little less drama and over statements. Honestly, its OK, you are still important.
    • by Chandon Seldon (43083) on Tuesday January 06, 2009 @04:39PM (#26348271) Homepage

      The "hacking" part is a distraction from the important part of this story: A massive propaganda war. And the outcome of that propaganda war could be as significant to the outcome of the conflict as the bombs. Even if it just makes either side shy away from targeting civilians, it's still hugely important.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 06, 2009 @03:54PM (#26347461)

    The EULAs require participants of the botnets that lose virtual battles to report to suicide booths.

  • If only... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Tuesday January 06, 2009 @03:58PM (#26347545) Homepage Journal

    I wish all wars were web wars. The papers today said the Isralies killed dozens in a UN school, and that nowhere in Gaza was safe.

    Go, web warriers! Go away, bullet and rocket warriors. He who lives by the RPG dies by the RPG.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by slugtastic (1437569)

      The papers today said the Isralies killed dozens in a UN school

      To be fair, it seems that (according the army) terrorists were firing mortar shells from structure moments earlier [ynetnews.com].

      • Re:If only... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by smooth wombat (796938) on Tuesday January 06, 2009 @04:32PM (#26348119) Homepage Journal
        To be fair, it seems that (according the army) terrorists were firing mortar shells from structure moments earlier.

        Yet, amazingly, for all the aerial drones, balloons (yes, balloons) and other visual devices they have, no image of said mortar firing will ever be provided for the public to view. Instead, we're supposed to rely on the word of a military who attacked a U.S. warship in international waters [wikipedia.org], who deliberately rammed and nearly sank a humanitarian aid ship [cnn.com] and who in 2006, destroyed the only power plant in Gaza [boston.com].

        I'm all for people retaliating when they are attacked, but to deliberately kill journalists, attack your "friends", deny humanitarian aid to those who need it, attack refugee camps, and a whole list of other offenses, is where I draw the line. You want to shape world opinion to your point of view? Quit playing the victim card and start acting like you learned something from everything that's been done to you.

        And since when is someone defending their land from an invader a terrorist? Apparently all those Iraqis who fought against the U.S. invasion were terrorists. Same goes George Washington. Hell, by that standard, Red Dawn [imdb.com] was nothing but a propaganda story about terrorists.
        • Re:If only... (Score:5, Informative)

          by antibryce (124264) on Tuesday January 06, 2009 @04:39PM (#26348287)

          Uh, they posted video of mortars being fired from that school last week. [youtube.com] Was it currently being used? We have no way of knowing, but that's how all intelligence works.

          Point being the elected government of Gaza was using a UN non-military building as a base of operations to launch attacks on a civilian populace.

          • Re:If only... (Score:5, Informative)

            by antibryce (124264) on Tuesday January 06, 2009 @04:51PM (#26348517)

            just to be specific they posted the video last week, however it was shot in Feb/2008.

            • Re:If only... (Score:5, Informative)

              by antibryce (124264) on Tuesday January 06, 2009 @04:56PM (#26348579)

              er 2007.

              that's what I get for trying to be specific.

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by MikShapi (681808)

                2007. 2006. Bah.

                How about at the time the school actually got done in? [bbc.co.uk]

                Two known militants among the dead who are known to be associated with rocket-firing squads. Named.

                The palestinians elected a government that will hurt its neighbours and put their kids in the line of return fire. They got exactly what they asked for. Their own kids, dead.

                One of Israels leaders said once that Israel will have peace with its neighbours the day they love their children more than they hate Israel. Egypt and Jordan wisened u

          • What happened? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Tuesday January 06, 2009 @05:43PM (#26349381)

            Uh, they posted video of mortars being fired from that school last week. Was it currently being used? We have no way of knowing, but that's how all intelligence works.

            Point being the elected government of Gaza was using a UN non-military building as a base of operations to launch attacks on a civilian populace.

            According to the Israelis what happened was small arms fire coming from the direction of the UN school which in their opinion made it worth firing at. In short, according to the latest news reports, it appears that two Hamas fighters are dead at the cost of some 30+ kids and their care takers being killed as well. The sad thing is that many lives could probably have been saved over the last few days if the Israelis hadn't embargoed all sorts of medical equipment which has been piling up at the border for months. If Israel shot it self in the foot with the invasion and bombardment of Lebanon back in 2006 it is now shooting it self in both feet with this latest raid on Gaza. It is an awsome manifestation of the unshakeable US/Israeli belief that conflicts like this one are best resolved with the lavish over use of firepower but in the long run it won't do anything to end Hamas' resistance efforts. Even if Hamas is "cynically using civilians as a human shield" like the Israelis are claiming it still won't help Israel's cause very much in the long run. All the world will remember is the dead kids. I am no friend of Hamas but no matter how hard you try you won't succeed in making the sheer galactic stupidity of what Israel is currently doing in Gaza sound like a good idea.

        • Re:If only... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Shakrai (717556) on Tuesday January 06, 2009 @04:50PM (#26348491) Journal

          Same goes George Washington

          George Washington managed to fight for American independence without blowing up women and children in downtown London.......

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by LWATCDR (28044)

          "ell, by that standard, Red Dawn [imdb.com] was nothing but a propaganda story about terrorists."
          Yes it really was and a bad movie as well.

          When you are killing your own countrymen your a terrorist. The Iraqi solders that fought the invasion where solders. The ones that are killing innocent Iraqi's are terrorists.
          The ones that are killing US troops are insurgents.

  • Combatants (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bigattichouse (527527) on Tuesday January 06, 2009 @04:00PM (#26347571) Homepage
    It could be construed through participation in the botnet, since you are directly aiding in an armed conflict between two foreign powers, that you are in fact becoming an enemy combatant, esp if you look back on the old (now defunct) NSA munitions definitions of software. This happens all the time, but could cause you some difficulties if you need to make an insurance claim on system damage - some insurance companies might consider counter-attacks that damage your files/servers/etc to be acts of war, and outside your policy. Granted this would all have to be tested in court, but particpating in a war as a private citizen is generally discouraged, if not illegal in many cases.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Granted this would all have to be tested in court, but particpating in a war as a private citizen is generally discouraged, if not illegal in many cases.
      At least without a Letter of marque [wikipedia.org].
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Yes, because someone sending spam from their computer is obviously as bad as driving a car bomb into an embassy. In other news, terrorism is now a meaningless fear word. And "aiding an enemy foreign power"... is there anyone left that isn't in that category these days?

      We have always been at war with Oceana.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      While insighful, I'm not sure "enemy" combatant applies. After all, most of the world isn't an enemy of Gaza or Israel. There is probably some classification like that (Unlawful combatant?), though I doubt whether there even are legal consequences your country is not involved in the war. It's even less clear if you reside on a country that has a mutual defense kind of agreement with of one of these countries.

      Yes, joining on such a botnet is stupid. Yes, joining such a botnet in wartime would be stupid, poss

    • by droopycom (470921)

      Wait...
      You claim you can find an insurance policy that cover your files or server so completely that they would need to invoke the "act of war" clause to deny you coverage for damages caused by hackers ?

      I'm curious to see who would actually offer that kind of coverage.

      I mean, coverage against flood or fire I can believe, but coverage against hacked password,software security holes and DDoS ???

  • by CannonballHead (842625) on Tuesday January 06, 2009 @04:06PM (#26347675)

    IMO, it's interesting to note the difference between the two. Israel seems to always have its military act together, beginning with the war it fought right after it got its land [back].

    On one side, we have what was termed "e-vandalism." On the other side, we have a very planned strategy to do something, although I don't know what yet.

    Just an interesting look into the different ... tactics, if you will.

    Disclaimer for contextual reading of this comment: I am pro-Israel, anti-terrorism, and I really do think Israel wants peace and Hamas wants no-live-Jew-on-face-of-earth. This is not an anti-Jew post.

    • by jerAzevedo (1326315) on Tuesday January 06, 2009 @04:36PM (#26348215)
      Well of course there are going to be different strategies. The Palestinians don't have anything. They're being suppressed by Israel who is systematically cutting off all food, water, and medicine into the region with a huge military funded by the US.

      Israel bombs the hell out of them and the Palestinians shoot a few rockets back and deface a couple websites.

      It's interesting how the media treats this as well. "Israel retaliates against terrorist rocket attacks." We have situation where an entire group of people is being oppressed by one of the most well-funded militaries on the planet, can barely get their hands on a few rockets to defend themselves, or food to feed themselves, and when Israel breaks the cease-fire agreement the US media is sympathetic to Israel.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by qw0ntum (831414)

      If the difference between a legitimate military campaign and terrorism is a plan, what does that make the US invasion of Iraq? What does that make the Hezbollah resistance in 2006, which many would claim to have been executed with a well-defined plan? Also, how would we know that those perpetrating this vandalism are at all associated with the Hamas leadership? How are we to know what plans Hamas has for defense of Gaza, given that no journalists have been allowed inside by Israel, which has explicitly (and

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I was not attempting to say that violence, as long as it is well planned out, was ok. I meant to simply point out an apparent difference in organization. Israel seems to always have been well organized in this area.

        I don't think Hamas is necessarily making their own rockets. Sure, Israel isn't either, but I don't think we should paint Hamas as these poor, innocent folks that barely scrape up enough metal to make a homemade rocket and it's not their fault if it misses, either. I'm not supporting killing

      • by mabu (178417) on Tuesday January 06, 2009 @05:01PM (#26348679)

        If the difference between a legitimate military campaign and terrorism is a plan

        No. The difference is a matter of perspective and who controls communication resources.

        A suicide bomber is merely a poor country's F-16.

    • by Simulant (528590) on Tuesday January 06, 2009 @06:35PM (#26350155) Journal

      Disclaimer for contextual reading of this comment: I am pro-Israel, anti-terrorism, and I really do think Israel wants peace and Hamas wants no-live-Jew-on-face-of-earth. This is not an anti-Jew post.

      I used to think that but then I read some history and started following current events. I now think it's "Israel wants land (which hasn't belonged to them in >2000 years) and Hamas (who represent people that they took it from) wants it back". At one point I think that the majority of Palistinians would have settled for "Just don't take any more." but that has unfortunately passed.

      You don't really buy the no-live-jew-on-the-face of-earth line do you? That's a bunch of rhetoric that you too would probably spout were you and your family evicted from your house/land.

      Jews and Arabs (and christians for that matter) have lived peacefully together, in that area, for hundreds of years at a time. There's nothing intrinsic in either religion that can't tolerate the existence of the other.

      As F$%#@ed up as Hamas is (and I in no way support their tactics), you simply can't move in, displace millions, and expect peace.

      I have sympathy for the innocent victims on both sides but Israel as a nation is reaping what it sows.
      Sadly, I see no humane solution.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Jews and Arabs (and christians for that matter) have lived peacefully together, in that area, for hundreds of years at a time.

        I am not sure exactly how "peaceful" it has been since, if I remember correctly, around AD 600, when Mohammad and the Qur'an showed up.

        Yes, I do buy the no-live-jew-on-the-face-of-the-earth line. Read the Qur'an and find out what they think about Jews and the land Israel possesses. The more extreme Islamic believers, if memory serves, believe that they should have conquered pretty much the entire world already.

        There are things intrinsic in the Jewish and Islamic religions that make it difficult to toler

        • by alexhmit01 (104757) on Tuesday January 06, 2009 @10:26PM (#26352569)

          There are things intrinsic in the Jewish and Islamic religions that make it difficult to tolerate the existence of the other. For the orthodox Jew, something like a mosque on top of the temple mount is going to be pretty annoying, wouldn't you say? Furthermore, in the Old Testament, the Jews were commanded to not allow any false religion in their lands, no other gods, etc.

          Correct, however, Islam isn't a problem. RAMBAM ruled that Islam wasn't worshiping of false gods or idolatry, and therefore a valid Noachide faith. While Ashkenazi law doesn't really deal with Islam, Sephardic law generally follows RAMBAM, and in theory for land based issues, Sephardic law governs Israel because it's in the Sephardic area. Ashkenazi customs don't dispute RAMBAM's ruling, so there is ZERO problem, under Orthodox Judaism, for Muslims to live and dwell within the land referred to as Eretz Yisrael (the land of Israel, basically Jewish lands).

          The Mosque on top of the Temple Mount is a separate issue, mostly because it's inconveniently located where the Third Temple will stand. However, without an unblemished red heffer, you can't purify people to enter the holiest areas, so under Orthodox law, Jews can't enter there. So while Orthodox Jewish law may prohibit the Dome of the Rock, nobody can really do anything about it, so it's an academic issue.

          Regarding Christianity, there is no issue with non-Jews worshiping Jesus as messiah. There is a question of whether the worship of the trinity, statues of saints (in Catholic Churches), renders Christianity idolatry... but no ruling that it is... the the rule of thumb is not to enter a Church, in case it IS idolatry, but that the non Jewish Christians inside it aren't necessarily engaged in idolatry so the rules regarding idolatry don't apply either.

          Now I have ZERO clue what the law says regarding a Hindu Temple setting up shop in Israel, but that's WAY above my pay grade. If you want real explanations, and not a very lay explanation on Slashdot, consult your local Orthodox Rabbi.

          Any issues that lay Jews have with Christianity isn't theological in nature, but rather a series of rulings during centuries of Christian persecution, which likely colored the judgment of the Ashkenazi Rabbis.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by alexhmit01 (104757)

        I used to think that but then I read some history and started following current events. I now think it's "Israel wants land (which hasn't belonged to them in >2000 years) and Hamas (who represent people that they took it from) wants it back". At one point I think that the majority of Palistinians would have settled for "Just don't take any more." but that has unfortunately passed.

        What time period is that? At no point has anyone on the Palestinian side said that. The 1948 partition was no good, the 1967

  • GIYUS (Score:5, Informative)

    by ionix5891 (1228718) on Tuesday January 06, 2009 @04:07PM (#26347703)

    theres also GIYUS (im not gonna link) they have 40,000 members regularly trolling on large forums and newspapers such as Guardian regarding any topic about Israel/Palestine

    this been going on for long time

  • by Animats (122034) on Tuesday January 06, 2009 @04:56PM (#26348585) Homepage

    The Help Israel Win [help-israel-win.org] site is down. But Google's cache of the site [209.85.173.132] is available, so that seems to be the site mentioned.

    From the cached page, this sounds like just another attempt to install malware. "How can you help? You download and install the file from our site. The file is harmless to your computer and could be immediately removed. There is no need for identification of any kind - anonymity guaranteed!" There's no indication of who's behind this, and the only contact point is a GMail address.

    The domain is registered anonymously through some Register.com front organization in Portugal. It's currently not resolving at all. DNS is on a Register.com server.

    Probably had nothing to do with Israel at all.

  • by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Tuesday January 06, 2009 @05:15PM (#26348901) Homepage

    That's so cool, where do I sign up to turn my computer into a zombie controlled by a shady Command Central? Does that cost anything or is it free?

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