March 21, 2015:
An analysis of the growing number of Internet based attacks on Israeli targets indicate that there is a more skilled group of hackers, apparently including some non-Arabs, who are providing instruction, advice and access to hacking tools to Moslem hackers. This is the result of the rapid spread of Internet access in Arab countries over the last decade. Many young Arabs with access have become attracted to the idea of “Internet jihad” against Israel and other perceived enemies of Islam. Thus a lot of the attacks in Israel can be traced to Gaza. Until the last few years the attacks were few, amateurish and generally harmless. But that has been changing in the last few years, especially since 2010.
More worrisome is that many of these new hackers are turning to fraud and theft via the Internet rather than trying to hurt Israelis. Islamic terrorists have long used criminal activity to raise money and obtain weapons and bomb making materials. That is all now moving to the Internet, with the old standbys of credit card theft, robbery and drug dealing being replaced by safer, and often more lucrative, Internet based criminal activities. Most of these new Moslem are not doing it to protect Islam but to get rich.
This new generation of Islamic terrorists are not that much of a threat to Israel, which has the most formidable Internet defenses in the world (in part because a disproportionate amount of Internet security software comes from Israel.) That has encouraged many Moslem hackers to go after each other. Most of the people killed by Islamic terrorists are Moslems. It has always been that way and the current attacks on non-Moslems is something new. Despite that most of the Islamic terrorist victims continue to be fellow Moslems and that gives Moslem hackers plenty of Moslems they can justify going after. So Iranian hackers go after Arab targets and vice versa. Same with Moslems who back the Syrian government going after the many rebel groups in Syria. Among the Palestinians its Hamas supporters versus those who back Fatah. Those who support Islamic terrorism go after the new Egyptian government and there are plenty of targets in Libya. Going after other Moslems is a lot more likely to be successful than going after Israeli targets. Besides, the Israelis have shown an ability, if sufficiently motivated, to track down and identify hackers and kill them. It’s much safer to hack fellow Moslems.