Information Warfare: Russia Backs The Hack

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August 6, 2015: Iran is winning some battles with Israel lately, but Iran has also shown itself to be smart enough not to take credit. Instead Iran lets Syria and Hezbollah take the credit (and most of the Israeli blowback) for recently hacking the networks of Israeli and Israeli groups that work against the Assad government of Syria. The Israeli groups are particularly concerned because some of these organizations represent Druze (an ancient religion whose practitioners are often murdered by Islamic terrorists) in both Israel and Syria. The Syrian hackers appear to have gotten information on Druze members of these organizations and passed the data onto Hezbollah (Shia Islamic terrorists backed by Iran) or Assad secret police. 

For years now Israel has openly accused Iran of being largely responsible for the growing number of Internet based attacks on Israel. These efforts were particularly intense in 2014 when Iran backed Hamas and Israel fought a 50 day war. This conflict, like the two previous “wars” with Hamas, brought out a lot of pro-Arab (if not pro-Hamas) hackers to attack Israeli Internet operations. This time around the attacks, while low level (defacing websites and trying to shut down sites with DDOS attacks) were more numerous and intense.

Most of the attacks were carried out by Moslems living far from the Palestinian territories but who had acquired some hacking skills. While the Moslem nations have lower percentages of Internet users and Internet experts that is slowly improving every year. More worrisome to Israel is the apparent growing of Cyber War operations in Iran. All this increased hacking against Israeli targets is no surprise and it has been developing since September 11, 2001. Israel also now accuses Iran of using Cyber War operations to aid all Moslem anti-Israel groups. This support does not include high grade stuff, which only Iranian hackers are allowed to handle. Instead Iran provides training and hacker software that many eager Moslem amateurs were not aware of or felt capable of using. Israel is accusing Iranian hackers of carrying out the few serious attacks. Iran denies everything, at least in public.

Iran is believed to have received technical help from Russia, which has long been a base of world class black hat (criminal) hackers. The Russian government will protect these gangsters if they do not prey on Russians and, more importantly, do jobs for the Russian government. The Russian government isn’t looking for charity from these guys and will pay, as long as the hackers provide high quality services. Russia used this resource to improve the skills of Iranian hackers who in turn passed on some these tools and skills to Hezbollah and pro-Assad hackers. 

 


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