KUWAIT: A number of Israeli websites were hacked over the weekend by a group that calls itself ‘Team Kuwait Hackers,’ according to a report published in the Jerusalem Post this week.
Debbie Goldsmith, a director at one of the sites, Aardvark Israel, said that on Saturday evening, rather than offering its customary explanations of gap-year programs in Israel, the site showed “a countdown and a clickable button, accompanied by eerie music. It sounded like Muslim prayers.
Later the same evening, the site showed a message in Arabic with a picture of a holy Quran, as well as the message: “TeaM KuWaiT HaCkErS – HaCkErS eV!L. Alex Zilberman of APR, the company that manages Aardvark Israel’s website, said that the same hacker group compromised the Israel Scouts’ international site earlier last week, adding that both the Aardvark Israel and the Israel Scouts’ sites were back up within hours.
The Team Kuwait Hackers group brags on its Facebook page that they are “The Best HaCkeRs iN The World,” but Zilberman explained that the group used a simple method to take down the Israeli Web pages. “They use search engines to find sites with weaknesses that they can take advantage of,” Zilberman said. “When they find ones that interest them, they use their method.
Zilberman said that sites which use open-source code are easier for hackers to take over. “Millions of people use open-source codes around the world,” he said, citing blogging platforms like Live- Journal and WordPress as examples. He added that it is easy for a professional to protect a site against this simple hacking strategy.
Also last weekend, Turkish hackers took over Arutz Meir, an Israeli site focused on Torah education. The site displayed a photo of a boy in a keffiyeh flashing a V for victory, with the message, “Stop supporting baby-killers.” The site’s management said that it thought a Turkish group had targeted their site because it had featured an interview with a Turkish man who converted to Judaism.
In early February, pro-Palestinian hackers broke into the website of the Israel Trauma Coalition, replacing its home page with the words: “Virtual protests will continue…! Everything for Palestine!” A group called the Gaza Hackers Team posted slurs and a photo of a Palestinian child beside an Israeli tank on the website of the Jewish People Policy Institute.