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Israel Faces Escalating Cyberwar

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the i'm-sure-it'll-be-over-soon dept.

Security 200

New submitter 9re9 writes "The NY Times describes what may be the beginning of an actual cyberwar between a pro-Palestinian group and Israeli companies, specifically El Al and the Tel Aviv stock exchange. From the article: 'A hacker identifying himself as oxOmar, already notorious for posting the details of more than 20,000 Israeli credit cards, sent an overnight warning to Israel's Ynet news outlet that a group of pro-Palestinian cyberattackers called Nightmare planned to bring down the sites in the morning.' Though the article is skimpy on technical details, the group appears to have engaged merely in a DDOS attack. Hamas praised the attack as opening 'a new resistance front against Israel.' Is this the first acknowledged cyberwar?"

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"Cyberwar" (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38728610)

Cyberwar is a construct of politicians and government contractors to justify spending lots of money. War is war. This is not war.

Re:"Cyberwar" (5, Insightful)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728676)

Disagree.

If a nation-state or organized political entity orchestrates a campaign over time to destroy an enemies assets, be they economic, social or military, it's a war.

Note that I don't include the war on drugs in that definition - that's just a massive black market. It would be a different matter if a foreign power was feeding us cheap drugs in order to put the nation into a stupor, but we're doing that ourselves.

Nor do I include the War on Terror as a bonified war - in that case, it's too general, and it fails the first part of the definition ("organized political entity"). Now, you can have a war on al Quaeda, but not on terror in general.

Re:"Cyberwar" (2, Informative)

Sociable Scientician (1606685) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728720)

'bonified' isn't a word. maybe you're thinking of 'bona fide' (in good faith, sincere) but that doesn't really make sense in the context either.

Re:"Cyberwar" (-1, Flamebait)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728862)

OK, you nailed a spelling error. Personally I see nothing wrong with the context. And as far as spelling errors go, at least it's a slightly esoteric phrase, your work would be best directed at people who can't deal with simple English and word sets like: to/two/too your/you're their/there/they're past/passed &etc.

Re:"Cyberwar" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38729078)

There is an epidemic of idiots on this site that don't understand when to use "effect" and when to use "affect." Despite the fact that they have different pronunciations and don't sound right when used in the wrong context.

I'm not a grammar nazi, but I don't understand how you can fuck this up because the words don't even sound the same.

"This problem ah-fects me."
"This problem ee-fects me." ?? What?

"The ee-fects of this problem are widespread."
"The ah-fects of this problem are widespread." ?? What?

I mean, none of you idiots ever get confused when talking about "cause and effect." It's because saying "cause and affect" wouldn't even fucking sound right, would it?

Stop the fucking madness.

Also, I'm seeing a lot of people writing "allot" when trying to write "a lot." Now you're just making up fucking words that phonetically match what you're trying to say.

Idiots in this upcoming generation.

Re:"Cyberwar" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38729130)

Also, I'm seeing a lot of people writing "allot" when trying to write "a lot." Now you're just making up fucking words that phonetically match what you're trying to say.

Idiots in this upcoming generation.

rant..FAIL

allot is a word.

Go back to sleep, idiot.

Re:"Cyberwar" (1)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#38730354)

Also, I'm seeing a lot of people writing "allot" when trying to write "a lot." Now you're just making up fucking words that phonetically match what you're trying to say.

Idiots in this upcoming generation.

rant..FAIL

allot is a word.

Go back to sleep, idiot.

Yeah, but to his credit, in this sense it is incorrect in context. Allot and 'a lot' do not mean the same thing.

Re:"Cyberwar" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38729646)

Me an idiot? That's unpossible.

Re:"Cyberwar" (0)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#38730324)

I'm not a grammar nazi, but I don't understand how you can fuck this up because the words don't even sound the same.

Nah, you're just a dick.

Re:"Cyberwar" (2, Insightful)

chaboud (231590) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728868)

I'm pretty sure that 'bonified' could reasonably be taken to be the past participle of 'bonify [webster-dictionary.org] ', which has fallen out of use, but means, roughly, "to convert into good." So this guy either means 'bona fide' or he's making a far more subtle point than first inspection would indicate.

Re:"Cyberwar" (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38729792)

I'm going with option one based on Occam's razor, however I *really* want to believe option two.

Re:"Cyberwar" (2)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38729202)

Mea culpa.

For some reason, I thought that it could mean "legitimate"; this does not appear to be part of the definition. Learn something every day, I guess.

Also - yeah - sometimes, I type too fast, and wind up with attempted phonetic spellings.

Re:"Cyberwar" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38729934)

'bonified' isn't a word. maybe you're thinking of 'bona fide' (in good faith, sincere) but that doesn't really make sense in the context either.

Hmmm...i was under the impression that the term "bonified" also referred to bona fides, i.e., verification/validation of one's stated abilities or intentions.

Re:"Cyberwar" (1)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38730068)

Well, certainly I hear the term "bona fide bug" thrown around a lot in the workplace, meaning "actual, legitimate, proven to exist bug" - perhaps technically a misuse, but a pretty common one...

Re:"Cyberwar" (2)

rolfeb (1218438) | more than 2 years ago | (#38730166)

Pity. I think "bonified" would be a fine word to have.

Re:"Cyberwar" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38730272)

Disagree.

If a nation-state or organized political entity orchestrates a campaign over time to destroy an enemies assets, be they economic, social or military, it's a war.

Disagree. If people's arms and legs aren't getting blown off, it may be bad, but it's not the kind of bad that you've obviously never experienced firsthand.

It could be if.... (0)

arcite (661011) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728808)

The hackers attacked a key infrastructure such as a desalination plant and cause them to burn out. Hmmmm kinda like what happened in Iran. That would be ironic punishment.

Re:It could be if.... (1, Troll)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38729176)

Are you really saying attacking a nuclear weapons enrichment program, whose sole end purpose is the creation of WMDs, is just like attacking a desalination plant, whose end purpose is clean water? Really?

Also, that is not what "ironic" means.

Re:It could be if.... (3, Insightful)

SealBeater (143912) | more than 2 years ago | (#38729714)

Are you really saying that it's a weapons enrichment program, contrary to our own CIA and national security reports? Also keep in mind that civilian generation of nuclear power is within their rights under the IAEA?

I mean, if you have some evidence, please produce it. Fear doesn't count.

Also, at this point, with a foreign hostile nuclear power fighting wars of occupation on both sides of their country, I would want a nuke too.

Re:It could be if.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38730596)

No, it would be Iranic punishment

Re:"Cyberwar" (4, Insightful)

Feyshtey (1523799) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728948)

If your neighbor hacking into your computer, stealing your financial information and destroying your critical files, you're going to be as much or more impacted than if he's making his dog shit in your yard and spray painting your car. As a matter of scale the former is ultimately more harmful than the latter.

If a foriegn entity is able to grind your nation's economy to a halt or eliminate communications or cripple your electrical infrastructure you are potentially more screwed than if there are some deaths through violence. And it can be done with relatively minor risk by a very small group.

Ooohhhhh (2)

Cyphase (907627) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728620)

Cyberwar, how dramatic.. *queue dramatic news music*

Re:Ooohhhhh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38730198)

http://www.dramabutton.com/ [dramabutton.com]

So, how long until we see an attempt.... (3, Insightful)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728624)

... at security classification for programming, networking, system administration, etc.

Or limits to who can take college classes. Or access web sites with that sort of information. Or own a non-registered compiler.

I used to love the cyberpunk novels about the underground cowboy devs outsmarting the global security nets. Now that we may be heading towards that sort of thing in reality, this old dev isn't quite so enthralled by the scenario...

Re:So, how long until we see an attempt.... (5, Informative)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728706)

Well, FWIW, the Department of Defense already requires IT-2 and IT-1 certification for anyone accessing their bits. IT-1 is the equivalent to Top Secret, in that it requires an investigation of the past 10 years of your life plus your current credit rating, a criminal records check dating back to the dawn of time, etc. Be thoroughly prepared to discuss in detail any breaks in your employment, any divorces you may have had, and a whole cornucopia of little details similar to that.

In other words, trust me - it's already here, and has been for some time.

(Disclosure - I have an IT-1 clearance from a previous job back in 2006. A colonoscopy would have been less invasive.)

At least .... (2)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 2 years ago | (#38729638)

you probably earned a genuine clearance that stays with you if you switch jobs!

That's one of the big rip-offs I've seen in recent years with regard to "security clearances". Many times, an employer will require obtaining a clearance, but they'll say it's "provisional", and add on a stipulation that the clearance is only valid for the length of time you're employed with them.

A good friend of mine applied for a (low paying) job handling government records, some years back (I believe it had to do with health records of retired military personnel), and they grilled her and all of her close friends for weeks. I remember getting a phone call where I was asked all sorts of things, such as if I was aware of her communicating regularly with anyone who resided outside the United States, if I had any background on why she got divorced, etc. etc. This wasn't even a top secret clearance ... merely a "secret" one. As it turns out, she was offered a better-paying job in the private sector while all this was going on, so she wound up not accepting it anyway. So all that digging they did was for absolutely nothing, since they said her not accepting the position automatically invalidated it.

I understand why some govt. agencies or contractors would be concerned that you're just going to apply there to obtain the clearance and then jump ship to a better job that demands you already have one.... but after you've offered that much information up to them and it's determined you not some sort of risk? It seems like a clearance is a clearance. If too many people get it and run, that probably means you're simply not paying enough.

Re:So, how long until we see an attempt.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38729666)

He isn't asking about clearance to access a secure system. He's asking about clearance to learn the tech. Think demolitions certification for IT. Trying to restrict the number of people who know how to engage in this type of activity.

Of course it's not terribly feasible to do so, what with the number of people who already know, the reading materials available and the free speech issues in trying to control it.

clearance (1)

schlachter (862210) | more than 2 years ago | (#38730064)

It's more than just passing an investigation. You also forfeit some of your rights as a citizen. Limits are placed on your right to freedom of speech, your expectations of privacy, and you agree that you can receive jail time for violating aspects of your clearance. Still worth the cost for many, but it's something to keep in mind.

Re:So, how long until we see an attempt.... (0)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728972)

This would be slightly more on-topic in a SOPA thread, but your mention of restricting compilers makes it relevant:

The Right to Read [gnu.org]

Bringing down the websites (4, Informative)

afidel (530433) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728640)

Big deal, call me when they can bring down the booking system or actual order processing system of the stock exchange. Saturating someones bandwidth or connection pool limits on their load-balancers is childs plays if they aren't specced to handle it.

Corrupt, don't bring down (5, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728962)

Fixing a non working system is easy.

Corruption can't be fixed. If you want to cause real damage, you corrupt data, you don't delete it. Corruption, is very difficult to recover from, and the longer the corruption goes on unnoticed, the worse it is to recover.

Taking down a system denies the use of the system as an asset. Corrupting the data or processes on the system makes that system work against it's owner. It becomes worse than useless.

Old news: (4, Informative)

Hartree (191324) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728648)

This has been going back and forth on pastebin.com for some time. The usual posting of claims and counterclaims. Lots of posting of alleged Israeli/Arab credit cards and facebook accounts, etc.

It's only now hit the media due to the Tel Aviv stock exchange being a target.

They've done quite a bit of attacking themselves (5, Informative)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728670)

Israel has a very developed a very advanced cyberwarfare infrastructure [reuters.com] , capable of both defensive and offensive attacks. And it's widely believed that they're the ones behind Stuxnet and other attempts at sabotaging Iran's nuclear program.

And that's just what they do in cyberspace. You get a LOT worse treatment [huffingtonpost.com] from them if you happen to be an Iranian nuclear scientist.

Rest assured that Israel dishes it out at least as well as they get it. They're hardly innocent babes in the woods.

Re:They've done quite a bit of attacking themselve (3, Insightful)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728888)

Yes, and to what effect? Iran's nuclear program has, by all estimates, been accelerating with every attack. Which is, frankly, no great surprise -- nuclear powers don't get messed with nearly as much as non-nuclear powers, so one should expect nations that consider themselves under threat to become nuclear powers as soon as possible. Whilst the Libyan situation is extremely complex, absolutely no dictator is going to go away with the message that they should reform - dictators don't think that way, even when they do think. Dictators will see that Libya has been attacked by foreign powers with the exception of one period - the time when Libya had weapons of mass destruction.

Cyber warfare won't make any difference. Israel has made it clear in the press that it doesn't distinguish between targeted killings and targeted website attacks, which means we can expect to see people fall over from sudden lack of organic essentials like brains, a heart, etc. This will lead to physical reprisals and another spiral of attacks and revenge. Limited wars NEVER stay limited, again as demonstrated in Libya. It is the nature of warfare of any kind to escalate beyond the control of one or all parties involved.

In the end, cyber warfare or physical warfare, there are no winners. You lose less badly than your opponent, that is all. Sun Tzu himself stated that the best strategy for warfare is to not be in one.

Re:They've done quite a bit of attacking themselve (2)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#38729192)

Does Sun Tzu also advocate running in fear when war comes to you? Perhaps it's wise to be submissive, hmm? Sometimes you don't have a choice but to defend yourself. Often, the cost of doing so means killing the aggressor. Not to say Israel is innocent here, but Hamas is extremely gleeful when rockets kill innocent Israeli children.

Re:They've done quite a bit of attacking themselve (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38729720)

If you haven't read his work, it's no wonder you lose.

Re:They've done quite a bit of attacking themselve (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#38730964)

You dropped his name with regards to a topic that's non applicable. Presumably with a holier than thou righteous attitude. I don't accept the premise that conflict can be avoided. Prolonged sure, but never avoided. This Middle East conflict has been going on far longer than and most likely started from the most mundane of reasons hundreds of years go. People, groups, etc tend to gunny sack grievances to the point of full out warfare. Eventually, the innocent and damned get caught in the fog of war until at some point (hopefully) those same group of people realize that it wasn't worth the POV they so stood steadfast by. Or, one group completely annihilates the other or enslaves them to a declaration of surrender. Which ever comes first.

Talk down to me will you? Fuck you!

Re:They've done quite a bit of attacking themselve (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38729768)

..but Hamas is extremely gleeful when rockets kill innocent Israeli children.

{Citation needed}

Re:They've done quite a bit of attacking themselve (4, Informative)

Feyshtey (1523799) | more than 2 years ago | (#38729474)

Sun Tzu also stated (paraphrased) that if you find yourself in a position where war is final option, you expend every ounce of your military force from the first moment and crush your enemy absolutely, demoralizing them and ending the conflict forever. The reasoning being that conservative encounters prolong the effects of war, ultimately causing more death and pain for both parties unnecessarily. You kill 1 million on day one to prevent the deaths of another 5 million over time.

But we're evolved enough now to believe in a kinder gentler politically correct warfare that extends for decades, kills millions, an improvrishes many more.

Re:They've done quite a bit of attacking themselve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38729866)

Kindness and political correctness have little to do with it, except perhaps as a small amount of lubricant for the wheels. Selling more military equipment and services has everything to do with it. And a conflict that drags on ultimately means more sales.

Re:They've done quite a bit of attacking themselve (0)

Feyshtey (1523799) | more than 2 years ago | (#38729968)

I see. So when Democrats pursue reducing the military budget they are really trying to prolong the wars in which we're engaged, kill more and allow more to be killed, and cash in on their secret contracting investements.

It's so obvious...

Re:They've done quite a bit of attacking themselve (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38730150)

Yes, but he also stated that you shouldn't destroy infrastructure in the process (since the victor ends up having to rebuild it anyway and rebuilding efforts weaken you), nor should they be any greater of a drain on you than absolutely necessary. The "shock and awe" tactics used in Iraq 2 were a direct violation of this stipulation, with consequences that were entirely predictable as a result. Sun Tzu did not advocate total destruction, he advocated very surgical destruction.

However, I agree completely with your point that wars should be short, sharp and final if they absolutely have to be fought. I don't see that as being necessarily in conflict with being socially responsible (people and skills are resources and part of the infrastructure too and you ultimately have to replace what you destroy). Even in chess, it is only the poor players who try to capture everything, the best players are those who capture only what is necessary to achieve the objective.

The problem with "short, sharp, final" wars is that they're not the ones people tend to fight. Israel has not successfully demoralized their enemies, nor successfully ended conflict for more than a few months. All that seems to have happened is deeper entrenchment of rivalries and hatreds. What do the experts have to say about situations like that? Well, both Sun Tzu and Miyamoto Musashi said that being predictable is usually a fatal error in war. That would suggest that a different tactic should be employed, rather than being so samey.

Should Israel defend itself? Absolutely. But it really shouldn't use methods likely to be a long-term failure. That won't achieve anything, as we have already seen. Israel has not, as a rule, been surgical. It has been considerably more so than many other nations (both inside and outside the Middle East), nonetheless it has steered round too many tumours and cut out far too much that has been healthy.

Re:They've done quite a bit of attacking themselve (1)

Feyshtey (1523799) | more than 2 years ago | (#38730442)

Israel (and Iran for that matter) cannot politically be surgical in the sense you describe. They cannot do what is necessary to end the conflct. Any aggression at a level required to bring the on-going war to a close would be vilified by the rest of the world. It's true in every stage on which hostility is currently being played out. If either side chooses to embrace being the aggressor and finish the engagement in as short a period as is possible (and minimize civilian or infrastructure destruction) as Sun Tzu describes would be wholly condemned for not pursuing "diplomatic" resolution for as many decades as that might require.

There is so much demand that there be no war at precise historic and geographic points on a large scale that we ensure dispersed small scale unending war.

Re:They've done quite a bit of attacking themselve (0)

RichardCory (2533518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728904)

Oh yeah, it's certainly the Israeli's that are to blame here. No question about it. Those Jew bastards... It's like those damnable women that dress up and walk around without their veils. Man! They are just ASKING for it. IMO they're LUCKY if they just get raped. Just like those stinking Jew dogs they deserve to die!

A Hitler

"Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it.", Edmund Burke

Re:They've done quite a bit of attacking themselve (4, Insightful)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728956)

Rest assured that Israel dishes it out at least as well as they get it. They're hardly innocent babes in the woods.

I'd like to nominate that as the understatement of the year.

Re:They've done quite a bit of attacking themselve (2, Insightful)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38729306)

What they get are children suicide bombers exploding themselves in crowded public spaces. Israel doesn't descend to that level, not even close. No, they are not innocent by any means, and I am not justifying what they do, just pointing out how hyperbolic your claims really are (which is, in a word, "very"). They have also been repeatedly attacked by nearly every one of their neighbors, and many of them have expressed a desire to wipe Israel from the face of the Earth. Again, just to put things into the proper perspective.

Re:They've done quite a bit of attacking themselve (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38729448)

What they get are children suicide bombers exploding themselves in crowded public spaces. Israel doesn't descend to that level, not even close...

I wonder how hard you would have to come down on someone to make them think that blowing themselves up is a better choice than living. You'd have to make their lives a living hell, for sure. Probably have to take their land away from them, do all sorts of nasty stuff, and make sure that they just can't see any end to their suffering or the suffering of their children. If you take away their future, then I guess some people would chose to blow themselves up and take as many of the enemy with them as possible. Don't kid yourself, Israel has as much to do with creating suicide bombers as any country over there.

Re:They've done quite a bit of attacking themselve (3, Interesting)

dskoll (99328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38729526)

You'd have to make their lives a living hell, for sure.

Not at all. You'd just have to feed them toxic religious bullshit and then look for weak-minded individuals to take advantage of. You know, kids, the mentally unstable, etc. Most suicide bombers are recruited when recruiters notice their mental state.

The people doing the recruiting, of course, are coldly calculating and sane. They probably don't even believe the religious bullshit they peddle to their victims, the suicide bombers.

Re:They've done quite a bit of attacking themselve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38729802)

Or threaten to kill them and their parents if they don't listen, and then fill the kid with narcotics.

Re:They've done quite a bit of attacking themselve (3, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38730592)

You'd have to make their lives a living hell, for sure. Probably have to take their land away from them, do all sorts of nasty stuff,

lets see, for hundreds of years longer, we have been doing this to the native americans ('indians').

when was the last time you saw an american indian suicide bomber, other than some caricature on tv? maybe an old western movie? but IRL? not really.

through out history, people have conquored others and land has shifted ownership. why is this somehow different? and if you go back farther in time, that land certainly has had many owners. to whom do you give it, then?

why stop there? so many other places in the world where X has taken Y. no matter what country you are from, in your history someone has taken someone's land or there is a dispute about its ownership in some way.

I fail to see how 'palestinian' is any more special and why this argument applies to them and not every other people who fought and lost?

israel fought many defensive battles, gained land and then gave it back. but that's still not enough, is it?

Re:They've done quite a bit of attacking themselve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38730758)

It's been verified and reported time and again that suicide bombers typically are well educated and well off; or indoctrinated and dependent on people who are well off but who lock these unfortunate onto this path. The suicide bombers themselves typically are doing pretty well here on Earth while they lust for their trip to their chosen heaven. Think of the 9/11 hijackers (at least those who knew they weren't coming home from that venture). They traveled freely and methodically pursued their goals using their weapon of choice, not their weapon of desperation.

What you've actually done is go out on a limb by interpreting the actions of a suicide bomber from your provincial perspective rather than from the suicide bomber's perspective; then you jumped off that limb by extrapolating beyond your data to indict a third party. It's an easy thing to do, especially since you don't need any data to accomplish it.

Re:They've done quite a bit of attacking themselve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38729930)

...Israel doesn't descend to that level, not even close.

I think using children as human shields is pretty close (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXq57XK2L0A)

and many of them have expressed a desire to wipe Israel from the face of the Earth.

Who said this? I know a while back there was a mistranslated speach that was repeated non stop on the news even after the correct translation was posted.

Re:They've done quite a bit of attacking themselve (0, Troll)

cowwoc2001 (976892) | more than 2 years ago | (#38729606)

Cry me a river. Either Israel gets to slow down Iranian nuclear weapon development or they get to bomb it outright. Which would you rather have? Don't expect them to sit on their hands as Iran openly boasts about its plan to wipe Israel off the map and develop the weapons for doing so.

PS: Every one of your points is hearsay. None of the aforementioned attacks on Iran have been linked back to Israel. There are plenty of countries going out of their way to slow down Iran, many of such attacks even coming from other Arab countries.

Cyberwar (1)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728678)

Is this the first acknowledged cyberwar?

yes.

As Lem put it short: Every new invention puts civilization forward and has a good and an evil usage. I'm surprised it took this long for media to notice what is really happening on cyber-front. Remember a recent /. story about cyber-insurances? http://news.slashdot.org/story/11/12/24/1254250/cyber-insurance-industry-expected-to-boom [slashdot.org]

Re:Cyberwar (1)

Un pobre guey (593801) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728798)

No. It is about the 15 millionth "cyberwar." Ignoring for the moment the significant questions surrounding the dubious term "cyberwar," the internet has been a battleground of malware for decades. This may be a new incident, but it's not new.

Re:Cyberwar (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728922)

It's the open acknowledgement that's new, not the concept. The concept existed as soon as computer a was able to talk to computer b.

Re:Cyberwar (1)

Morty (32057) | more than 2 years ago | (#38729978)

No. It is about the 15 millionth "cyberwar." Ignoring for the moment the significant questions surrounding the dubious term "cyberwar," the internet has been a battleground of malware for decades. This may be a new incident, but it's not new.

The folks who define the term "cyberwar" limit it to nation-state actions, to make it analogous to traditional war. Certain folks use this term with a very specific agenda: to justify expanding the scope and budget of military activities to include computer and computer network defense/offense. Most malware exists for vandalism or theft/fraud. From the perspective of jurisdiction, that means most malware falls under law enforcement rather than the military. As such, most malware is not in scope for "cyberwar". It's only "cyberwar" if it's the action of a nation-state.

It appears that a fair number of governments have used "cyberwar" type capabilities. "stuxnet" is probably the most famous example, and for good reasons: it was highly sophisticated and had physical-world implications. There have been other incidents, such as the attacks on Estonian and and Georgian websites. However, none these incidents has ever, AFAIK, been officially acknowledged by the perpetrating government.

The "oxOmar" incident was not directly initiated by a Palestinian government entity, but was publicly praised by a government entity, i.e. Hamas. That's the closest we've come to having an officially acknowledged cyberwar.

Lesser Evil (5, Insightful)

omganton (2554342) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728708)

I'd rather see cyber war between Palestine and Israel than real war. The can DDOS each other all day as long as it keeps them away from car bombs.

Re:Lesser Evil (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728940)

I think ultimately the point is to know exactly where to put those car bombs...

Re:Lesser Evil (1)

medv4380 (1604309) | more than 2 years ago | (#38729002)

That's what you say now but what will you say when one side makes a Skynet Virus?

A good cyber attack (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 2 years ago | (#38729052)

Would have the bombers hit the wrong target.
 

Re:Lesser Evil (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38729056)

It won't stay limited, that's the problem. A DDoS or other cyberattack can shut down a reservoir (a major issue in a place like the Middle East) or disrupt other critical computers that should not be online but are. A stupid decision by a power station or an airport could result in major anger. And in a region where anger is usually accompanied by automatic weapons fire, rockets and mutilation of the enemy, it wouldn't take much to trigger a major confrontation.

It wouldn't need to be that major. A DDoS against an extremist group won't be met with returning ping floods, it'll be met with an all-out assault on the innocent (extremists of all brands have long figured out that killing innocents is by far the best strategy -- innocents don't shoot back, and their deaths have far greater potential to cause shock and terror than the deaths of militants - people expect militants to die, it's practically in the job description).

This tactic does have one thing going for it, as far as all sides other than the aforementioned innocent are concerned - unlike regular confrontations, a DDoS can be done from a safe, warm location where you're not going to get shot at. Since militants on both sides have invested a lot in Perpetual War, this cuts down on recruitment and training overheads. It might even make recruitment more cost-effective, since if innocents die and warriors don't, there's a considerable incentive to stop being an innocent.

Of course, once a hot war does break out, militants on both sides will get slaughtered (again with lots of innocents), but at worst it boosts their life expectancy and at best it boosts their odds of surviving the entire campaign more-or-less intact.

Re:Lesser Evil (2)

Johann Lau (1040920) | more than 2 years ago | (#38729652)

"when elephants do battle, the grass suffers." -- african proverb

=/

Re:Lesser Evil (2)

ozduo (2043408) | more than 2 years ago | (#38729710)

I agree, those Palestinian rocks sure make some serious scratches on the israel tanks

Go for the greater evil: (1)

Hartree (191324) | more than 2 years ago | (#38729730)

"I'd rather see cyber war between Palestine and Israel than real war."

But what about the combination. Think of the possibilities.

Blow up the wrong target. Then make them think someone else did it. When the others end up bombing each other post a troll face.

Then you can post "You mad, bro?"

Re:Go for the greater evil: (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38730622)

with the new laws on the books, both israel AND palestine can be sent to gitmo.

so, you two better behave! you don't want me to call papa.

Unfortunately for oxOmar (4, Informative)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728732)

Seems to me the likely way for the Israelis to handle a threat like this is to track down the attackers in meatspace, and kill them.

Re:Unfortunately for oxOmar (1)

Un pobre guey (593801) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728814)

I'm sure their on it. It'll give some poor chemical engineer schmuck in Iran a few more minutes to find a better hiding place.

Re:Unfortunately for oxOmar (2)

cshark (673578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38730244)

They will. Or they'll hunt them down and make them stand trial. These are people who can find nazis in ohio fifty years after the fact. And you're going to piss them off? Yeah, good luck with that.

Seriously (4, Insightful)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728738)

Taking down someone's web page is a cyberwar now? When two countries (not companies vs script kiddies) start destroying actual (not virtual, potential or imagined) property within each other's borders and killing actual people, with the goal of conquering or annihilating each other, then maybe it'll be a cyberwar.

Re:Seriously (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38728892)

When two countries (not companies vs script kiddies) start destroying actual (not virtual, potential or imagined) property within each other's borders and killing actual people, with the goal of conquering or annihilating each other, then maybe it'll be a cyberwar.

I believe we call that an actual war, not a cyber war.

Re:Seriously (1)

Johann Lau (1040920) | more than 2 years ago | (#38729856)

you call that serious? as someone already pointed out, what you're describing is war, not cyberwar. and re: war, they're kinda already doing that. doing it on another level doesn't take away from that, it's supposed to have some kind of synergy effect (of suffering and stupidity, but that's besides the point).

lastly, data is not virtual or imagined: it takes time and resources to collect/compute, and has real-life uses and implications I cannot even be arsed to enumerate right now, because really, just heh...

stock exchange (1)

schlachter (862210) | more than 2 years ago | (#38730114)

They took down the stock exchange. That has real effects. It causes panic and costs money, which in turn forces compromises elsewhere. It's not always so easy to draw a clear line b/w virtual and real world.

Name spelling? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38728752)

Pardon the pedantry:
Is it "oxOmar" or "0xOmar"? "0x0mar"? This kind of matters for pronunciation.

You fell victim to one of the classic blunders (2)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728760)

The most famous of which is "never get involved in a land war in Asia" - but only slightly less well-known is this: "Never get involved in a covert war with an Israeli opponent".

Really. Those guys (and gals) dont play fair.

Re:You fell victim to one of the classic blunders (1)

Pope (17780) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728924)

Huh. I never realized war was supposed to be "fair."

Re:You fell victim to one of the classic blunders (4, Funny)

Feyshtey (1523799) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728986)

Well duh. Everyone should get a participation award rather than declaring a winner or loser. We dont want to hurt any feelings.

Re:You fell victim to one of the classic blunders (2)

Prune (557140) | more than 2 years ago | (#38729028)

In fact, war is supposed to be fair, to the extent that international law is fair: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laws_of_war [wikipedia.org]

Re:You fell victim to one of the classic blunders (0)

Feyshtey (1523799) | more than 2 years ago | (#38729088)

So how do car bombs and suicide bombers specifically targeting non-military non-police at religious centers, markets, restaurants and schools rank on the Fair Scale? Where is that in the Laws of War, exactly? Is this the line from your source? :

People and property that do not contribute to the war effort should be protected against unnecessary destruction and hardship.

Re:You fell victim to one of the classic blunders (2)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38730706)

I never realized war was supposed to be "fair."

this is not bowling but it still has rules.

its the rules that stop mega-powers from just crushing their opponents. if the US did not hold back, it would have levelled half of the ME in retaliation. brutal and extreme, but maybe it would have been the one and only event in our 'gulf war 2'. instead, our war on fear and terror has lasted longer than the very real world wars 1 and 2, combined.

we pussyfooted around in the gulf wars. we held back (significantly). I do wonder if trying to be 'too gentle' during war has actually cost us.

if the other side had as much power (tables were turned) would they exercise as much restraint? then, why did we? I think it was unwise. if you go to war, you GO to war and don't fuck around. instead, we fucked around and dragged it out a decade (and its still going on).

Hmmm poor form (1)

arcite (661011) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728778)

Announcing your intended crime to your victim before you actually accomplish anything.... Kinda like a comic book villain plot? Cower in fear and behold our power to reveal your credit rating!!! Now you'll get spammed to death! High interest rates for all!!!(cue maniacal laughter...)

I would wish the hackers good luck if only because they are the underdogs.... I suspect they'll be getting a knock at the door any moment now. They should probably avoid motor vehicles for the foreseeable future as well. Oh and wear a hat! (The eye in the sky is always watching!)

Better than killing people (1)

onkelonkel (560274) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728782)

If I had to choose, I think I would prefer having my CC posted on the net over being blown to bits by somebody with a vest full of semtex and wood screws mixed with rat poison.

Re:Better than killing people (1)

Johann Lau (1040920) | more than 2 years ago | (#38729900)

two words for you: false dichotomy.

Bet these kids will think they're smart... (3, Insightful)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728818)

when they're getting blown literally to pieces with real weapons. Might school them in reality.

Re:Bet these kids will think they're smart... (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728932)

And thus Israel becomes seen as the agressor for being the first to start shooting. Or worse, given the age of many script kiddies, they are caught killing children. No, Israel wouldn't be that stupid: So long as the hackers don't start getting into anything like military systems, they'll fight with improved security... and maybe the odd counter-DoS.

Re:Bet these kids will think they're smart... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38729984)

You seem to have undue faith in the emotional maturity of Israelis http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-vows-to-hit-back-after-credit-cards-hacked-1.406004

Re:Bet these kids will think they're smart... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38730984)

You seem to have undue faith in Haartez.

Best of times coming.. (1)

vencs (1937504) | more than 2 years ago | (#38728926)

For cyber-mercenaries AKA basement dwellas. Time to rename js as jihad-script.

--
Please disturb, im in a meeting.

If you're gonna threaten your neighbours... (5, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#38729038)

If you're going to, as a nation, threaten your neighbours, arm yourself with nukes and the best military technology money can buy while oppressing and condemning a minority within your population (the Palestinians). If you're going to talk the talk about "peace" while continuing to invade and build on the occupied territories in dispute and supposedly under negotiation at peace talks. If you're going to take hundreds of millions in "Aid" dollars from someone your neighbours see as the "Great Oppressor".

Well, if you do these things, don't be surprised if cyber terrorism is the least of your worries.

Re:If you're gonna threaten your neighbours... (1, Informative)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38729132)

while oppressing and condemning a minority within your population (the Palestinians)

If by "Palestinians" you mean Israeli Arabs, well, these are probably much better off living in Israel rather than in the neighbouring countries. In Israel, they have at least some political power (proportional to their votes).

Re:If you're gonna threaten your neighbours... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38729672)

If by "Israeli Arabs" you mean Golgafrinchans, these are probably not getting oppressed in Gaza or the West Bank

Re:If you're gonna threaten your neighbours... (4, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#38730982)

"Flamebait" my ass. The truth hurts. Bend over and TAKE it.

Laugh... (1)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#38729360)

If a 19 year old kid stealing credit cards and DOSing a web site is war then I call hyperbole!!!
It's an inconvenience at worst, but I do like the Israeli kid trying to take high moral ground by releasing the CC's but not enough info to actually use them.
That won't last.

Personally I think the term "war" is over used.

"#
20,000 Arabs Facebook Accounts
#
Hacked By Hannibal" Interesting name choice.
http://pastebin.com/N8T3QY2i [pastebin.com]

Israel "response" to the website DOS
http://pastebin.com/GyyqkGxs [pastebin.com]

What's an escalator cyberwar? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38729424)

Why are escalators connected to the internet? And what about elevators?

Infromation Security in Israel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38729538)

Despite some rather stupid moves by politicians in recent years (Eli Yishai, I'm looking at you!), Israel has a large infosec community, that works hand in hand with both the public and private sectors extensively.

Re:Infromation Security in Israel (1)

cshark (673578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38730294)

Ha! Inside Israeli joke! Funny! True though.

Score: Israel 1, attackers 0 (1)

dskoll (99328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38729574)

http://www.elal.co.il is up and running happily. http://www.sama.gov.sa/ [sama.gov.sa] and http://www.adx.ae/ [www.adx.ae] are both down.

Re:Score: Israel 1, attackers 0 (1)

GerardAtJob (1245980) | more than 2 years ago | (#38729850)

Hummm...

Flying from Toronto to Tel Aviv
$335 CAD + 100 points for Economy class
$2595 CAD + 200 points for Business class

Look like it was Israel 0, attachers 1 after all...

innovate their way out (3, Insightful)

schlachter (862210) | more than 2 years ago | (#38730178)

As Israel has always done, and must always do, they will innovate their way out of the situation. Reducing the threat they face, while making a name for themselves in the cyber security market and profiting immensely.

One would think this is fairly easy to defeat (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | more than 2 years ago | (#38730528)

without state backing I don't see how some small band of hackers is going to make any difference.

On the bright side, the threat of this will likely motivate the banking industry to finally close some giant security holes in their system.

Many businesses don't change slowly. They change in bursts typically as a result of some sort of trauma or unlikely opportunity. Nothing changes and then everything changes all at once.

So... maybe this will be the catalyst.

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