Israel: Hacked cyber-defense site may be source for recent text threats

One of the text messages sent out by Islamist hackers

The mystery of where Islamist hackers got phone numbers and email addresses to send threatening text and email messages grew Sunday, when it emerged that a database belonging to the IsraelDefense magazine and web site had been hacked over the weekend.

“It’s not clear if that database was the source of the phone numbers used in the SMS ‘attack,’ but there were no reports of other large database hacks over the weekend,” said Dr. Tal Pavel of security group Middle Eastern Net, and a lecturer at Netanya Academic College, “so it’s very possible that is the one they used.”

Ironically, that database may belong to IsraelDefense, an organization that just recently sponsored a major cyber-security event, touting Israel’s prowess in developing technology to defend against precisely the hack attacks aimed at databases containing personal information – like email addresses and phone numbers. Its site was hacked Saturday, and said it was investigating the hack attack.

The messages, sent in Hebrew and English from phone numbers in Israel and the Palestinian Authority, threatened “revenge, the account between us is not closed,” “a warning to the Zionists, the al-Qassam rockets are waiting for you,” and (in English) “Al-Qassam has chosen you to be the next Shalite (sic),” a reference to kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit…