I just read Mazen Kerbaj’s post for 3 August and he talks of getting 11,000 hits a day. He says the number is closer to 15,000. Kerbaj says if each of those visitors brings 10 more visitors, we might be able to have a webtifada. I have never heard this term, so I don’t know if Mazen coined it. But this is a powerful term. Of course, I now have to go google the term. Be right back.
15,500 hits. The first page has ten hits all in French — at a glance, looks like there were some Moroccan hackers who hacked into some Israeli sites. I’m going to go read and post back here. Hang on.
OK, this is fascinating. I’m going to translate this article here. I may do it in bits and pieces, because I’ve got stuff I’m supposed to be doing. But the first hit on google was at afrik.com and the article is “Morocco-Israel: The Webtifada has begun.” Sub-title is “Moroccans hacked more than 750 Israeli sites and the Hebrew State has retaliated.” The article is by Habibou Bangré and is dated Thursday, 27 July, 2006. Here’s the translation:
On June 28, Moroccan hackers called “Team Evil” hacked into more than 750 Israeli sites in reponse to an attack by the Hebrew State [the article uses the phrase “l’Etat hébreu” to refer to Israel] into the Gaza Strip. The Israeli response didn’t take long: some 400 internet sites of the Moroccan Kingdom were recently attacked. The war on the Web seems to have been launched.
Experts who thought Moroccan hackers were minor players got a wake-up call. On 28 June, between 750 and 850 Israeli sites were targeted by Team Evil [Team Evil is written in English and the article translates the term here to “l’équipe diabolique”], a team of Moroccan pirates apparently all under the age of 20. This is the first cyber attack of such scope which has struck the Hebrew State in a few years. And the damage would have been much worse if the virus hadn’t been contolled in time. The pirates disabled governmental and institutional websites which were more or less secure, and those sites were unable to recover for a while. However, Israel has recently responded with its own cyber war.
“As long as you kill Palestinians, we will kill your servers.”
Team Evil attacked Israel to protest the daily deaths of Palestinians which resulted from the offensives in the occupied territories. The group, which regularly attacks small Israeli sites, began its work in 2004 by hacking American sites. Gradually, the group’s activities became more and more powerful. Last year, it attacked lesser known enterprises, until last April, when the team attacked the rapidly growing restaurant chain of MacDonalds.
Team Evil became radicalized by the operation called Summer Rains on 28 June, which took place in Gaza in response to the capture, a few days earlier, of the young French-Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit. On the Israeli websites that were hacked, a message in English read: “This site has been hacked by the Arabic group Team Evil. As long as you kill Palestinians, we will kill your servers.”
“We are a group of Moroccan hackers who attack sites as a sign of solidarity with the war of resistance conducted against Israel. We attack Israeli sites every day: that’s our mission. Hacking is not a crime. Stop killing children, and we’ll stop hacking,” declared a hacker spokesperson at the Israeli information bureau, where the remarks were reported in the Moroccan magazine Tel Quel. According to Tel Quel, the Israeli web squad believed that the virus was prepared well before Operation Summer Rains, which served as a pretext for using the virus.
400 Moroccan sites locked
Far from doing nothing, Team Good [the article translates this as “l’équipe du bien”] attacked the Moroccan server Omihost, which hosts some 400 addresses and affects about 250 [? “qui héberge quelque 400 adresses en affectant environ 250”]. The damage was serious because the backup servers were also attacked. However, today, about 220 sites have been restored. A statement from the Hebrew State adds that there would certainly no longer be an “attempt on the national economy and security.”
The members of Team Evil are nicknamed the Musketeers of the Web by a section of the Moroccan population against Israeli attacks in Palestine. Recently, a march in support of the Palestinian people took place in Casablanca. Other very active Moroccan hackers lead a virtual war against Israel. As does LeRomman Tique, a team of pirates who call the Hebrew State and the U.S. “terrorists.”
Mossad agents, the Israeli secret service, were sent to Casablanca to find those responsible for the cyber assault. Because Morocco does not have laws specifically against cyber crime, hackers could get five to six years in prison through article 294 of the penal code which forbids information piracy. But there are rumors, according to Tel Quel, that the U.S. would love to be able to recruit these brilliant information technicians…