SC magazine reports that Muslim and Israeli hackers have been going at each other in cyberspace, as an adjunct to the fighting in Gaza:
‘More than 10,000 sites have been compromised by hackers, many Muslim radicals who are gaining control of the sites to scrawl anti-Israeli, anti-American and pro-Palestinian messages, said Gary Warner, director of research in computer forensics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham . . . a number of high-profile Israel-based sites, including Ynetnews.com and israelairlines.com, recently fell victim to defacement when a Moroccan-based hacker team illegally accessed a New York-based domain registrar . . .’
For a while, there was an Israeli site encouraging denial of service attacks by Israeli hackers, that appears to have been taken down.
PC World adds, “The defacements have primarily affected small businesses and vanity Web pages hosted on Israel’s .il Internet domain space.”
‘ The widely-circulated Israeli daily’s website, Ynetnews.com, has been defaced and is now a picture guide to the progressive takeover of Palestinian land by settlers since 1946. The website, which is widely acknowledged as pro-Zionism, also draws parallels between the US conduct in Iraq and the Israeli siege on Gaza with a picture showing Palestinian victims of Israeli attacks above an image of American soldiers torturing detainees in Abu Ghraib prison.’
All those things Bush & Cheney are proud about, like the immense pile of bodies they have had carefully counted (as Tom Engelhardt points out), have not been forgotten by the Muslim world. Gaza reminds them. I shouldn’t have thought making an explicit connection to Abu Ghraib would have been necessary– most people in the Muslim world view Israeli actions as US actions. It is one of the great worries I have, that this attack on Gaza will reignite al-Qaeda terrorism on US soil. More on that later.
From here on out, surely all wars will have a strong cyberspace dimension. Propaganda and counter-propaganda are nothing new, and the Israeli Foreign Ministry is taking a direct role in manipulating Western media on Gaza. But hacking and denial of service attacks have their own dynamics that will change the way the game is played.