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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

#OpIsrael's epic fail even bigger than we thought

I hate to give traffic to Electronic Intifada by linking them, but this has to be shared.

The big 'success' of Anonymous' #OpIsrael was that they supposedly hacked the Mossad's website - a claim that the Mossad denied. It seems that Anonymous posted personal data of 35,000 Mossad 'spies' and that many of them were Israeli Arabs who had nothing to do with the Mossad and whose lives were endangered. It was all a hoax.
M. arrived at work last Friday morning in a city in the north of present-day Israel. As she walked in, one of her colleagues approached her with a look of concern and asked her to step outside. “Your name is on a list of Mossad agents,” M. recalls the colleague saying.
“ ‘Then congratulate me,’ I said, thinking this was all a strange joke,” M. recalls responding.
But then M. found that many other people at her workplace were talking about a list, a file obtained by hackers and circulated on social media purporting to contain the names of agents of Israel’s notorious spy and assassination agency Mossad.
The vast majority of names on the list are Hebrew names of Israelis.
“I looked at the list, it had my name on it, my ID number and other details. By the end of the day everyone knew about it and was talking about it.”
M., however, is a Palestinian, a citizen of Israel, with an Arabic name – although like all the other names on the list her name was written in the Hebrew alphabet. She was stunned.
The false accusation or suspicion of being an Israeli agent can be absolutely devastating for any Palestinian.
The Electronic Intifada was able to independently verify the identity of M. Because of the serious implications for her and her family, M. agreed to speak to The Electronic Intifada on condition that we not use her real name or initials or identify the city where she lives.
“After work I went home and started to google this list and I was horrified by what I found,” M. said. “It was everywhere.”
M. doesn’t know how she got on the list but looking at it she thinks that the information could come from the database of a store’s loyalty card program or an online commerce site that was hacked into. “I saw the names of many companies as well as individuals on the list, including shoe stores and baby clothing stores.”
M. is not the only one affected in the Palestinian community. “My dad’s cousin is on the list as well, among many other people I know,” she said.
The Electronic Intifada asked M. if she would help put us in touch with other Palestinians who had found their names on the list. She said, “When I tried to talk to them and see if they are willing to do anything about it, or at least talk to you, they were too scared to react.”
M. began to contact Arabic-language news sites that had posted the list, telling them that the list was a fraud and that it was putting many Palestinians like herself under suspicion. “I didn’t sleep for three nights,” M. said.
Several websites have now published retractions, apologies and explanations.
Great hackers, aren't they? Heh. 

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