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PFLP launches cyber attacks against Israelis 'in solidarity with hunger strikers'

April 30, 2017 6:02 P.M. (Updated: May 1, 2017 1:28 P.M.)
(File)
GAZA (Ma’an) -- The armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, said Sunday it has hacked scores of Israeli phones as part of a wider cyber attack operation in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli custody.

According to a statement in Arabic on the PFLP’s official website, Unit 67 of the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, which is part of the group’s electronic security team, launched a number of “intensive cyber attacks” on sites and accounts of Israeli individuals and institutions “affiliated to the Zionist government.”

The PFLP statement claimed that the cyber attacks "caused disputes" between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and commanders of cyber units within Israel’s security agencies.

According to the Israeli news outlet The Jerusalem Post, officials from Israel's security agency the Shin Bet, the national intelligence agency the Mossad, the Israeli Defense Ministry, and the Israeli army wrote a letter to Netanyahu, warning that the numerous powers given to the Cyber Defense Authority could impede the ability to thwart cyber attacks on Israel.

Days later, Israeli media reported that the Cyber Defense Authority had thwarted a large scale cyber attack targeting over 120 organizations in recent days, “in the form of malicious emails” that targeted various companies, government ministries, public institutions, and private individuals in academia and research.

In response to reports that Israel’s Cyber Defense Authority threatened to retaliate through attacking Palestinian and Arab websites, the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades’ security team said: "We accept the challenge.”

The team claimed to have previously hacked “multiples websites of the occupation” and that it obtained “important information in an ongoing attack defying the Zionist security and technology system."

The report also comes after Israel announced that, using a computer algorithm, it has detained hundreds of Palestinians based on social media activity before they carried out crimes.
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