Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Cyber attacks on Israel traced to Gaza, claims US research group

A series of cyber attacks against Israel since mid-2013 appears to be coming from "Arab parties located in the Gaza Strip" and elsewhere, US security researchers say.

A research report by Trend Micro said the effort appears to be using "spear phishing" emails with an attachment disguised as a pornographic video.

When a user clicks on the attachment, it installs malware that allows for remote access of documents on the infected computer, the report said.

The researchers said in a report released Sunday that this highly targeted campaign dubbed "Arid Viper" is a sort of "smash-and-grab" first seen in the middle of 2013, and which uses network infrastructure located in Germany.

The security firm said those behind the scheme are using sophisticated methods with the goal of stealing sensitive data from Israeli-based organizations -- government, transport, military and academia and one organization based in Kuwait.

A similar campaign which uses some of the same techniques and infrastructure has also been hitting targets in Egypt. This less sophisticated effort has been called Operation Advtravel by Trend Micro.

The researchers said both campaigns are hosted on the same servers in Germany and can be tied back to activity from Gaza. more

Abu Marzouk: Blair visited Gaza to demand new preconditions

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Deputy head of Hamas Mousa Abu Marzouk says the last visit to Gaza by international Quartet envoy Tony Blair came to notify the Hamas movement of a new set of preconditions before the war-torn coastal enclave could be rebuilt.

In a statement posted on Facebook, Abu Marzouk said that Blair's remarks were completely different from what he used to propose when he served as the UK prime minister.

"In January 2009, Blair admitted he was mistaken and explained then that Hamas was a major player in the conflict and in the peace process. He didn't then talk about the Quartet’s three preconditions of recognition of Israel, renouncing violence and accepting what the Palestinians have already signed, but rather he spoke of appropriate preconditions," argued Abu Marzouk.

Blair is now talking about five new preconditions to be imposed on Hamas before Gaza reconstruction and improvement to the living conditions, the official said.

"He is now using the tragedy inflicted on Gaza by the Zionist enemy who demolished Gaza houses leaving children in the open."

Blair's five new preconditions, says Abu Marzouk, include Palestinian reconciliation, a Palestinian political program based on a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 borders, and confirmation that Hamas is a Palestinian movement seeking to achieve Palestinian goals rather than being part of an Islamic movement with regional dimensions. more