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Anti-Israeli cyber-hackers may face retaliation, official warns


This news story was published on January 8, 2012.
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By Jeff Abramowitz

JERUSALEM, Israel — Hackers who attack Israel need to know they will be attacked back, Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said Saturday, following a cyberattack on Israeli credit card holders earlier in the week.

“Whoever harms Israel’s cyberspace is not immune from retaliation,” Ayalon told a meeting at a community center in the southern city of Beersheba.

An aide to Ayalon, Lital Shochat, told dpa Saturday night that Israel views cyberattacks as acts of terrorism.

The comments came after an anti-Israeli activist revealed credit card details and other information on thousands of Israelis — 15,000 on Tuesday, and another 11,000 on Thursday.

The hacker, who identified himself as OxOmar and wrote he was a member of the hackers group Anonymous, initially claimed 400,000 Israelis were affected.

The details exposed included the credit card numbers, names, addresses, telephone and identity numbers.

An Israeli student meanwhile claimed to have uncovered the identity of OxOmar, and said he was not from Saudi Arabia, as had been claimed, but was a teenager living in Mexico but who hailed originally from the United Arab Emirates.

The student said he was able to make the trace after OxOmar used a particular e-mail address to conduct interviews with Israeli media.

However, the Israel Ynet news site said it had been contacted by someone claiming to be OxOmar, who denied his identity had been discovered.

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