Israel says credit card hack is 'terrorism'

Deputy FM vows revenge over theft of thousands of credit card details by a hacker who says he is based in Saudi Arabia.

    Danny Ayalon, Israel's deputy FM, said cyber-attacks are 'comparable to a terrorist operation'

    Israel has said the online publication of thousands of its citizens' credit card details by a hacker who says he is based in Saudi Arabia is comparable to terrorism, and promised to hit back.

    Such cyber-attacks are "a breach of sovereignty comparable to a terrorist operation, and must be treated as such", Danny Ayalon, the country's deputy foreign minister, said in a speech on Saturday.

    He added that Israel had not yet ruled out the possibility that the hacking had been carried out by a group "more organised and sophisticated ... than a lone youth".

    "Israel has active capabilities for striking at those who are trying to harm it, and no agency or hacker will be immune from retaliatory action." 

    The data theft, which appeared to focus on commercial websites, was one of the worst Israel has said it has faced.

    However, government officials and credit card companies said the financial damage was minimal.

    'New form of resistance'

    The hacker, identifying himself as Saudi-based OxOmar, said on Thursday that he had leaked private information about more than 400,000 Israelis.

    Credit card companies said about 25,000 numbers, some of them expired, had been posted as of Friday. 

    After Israeli media ran what they described as interviews conducted with OxOmar over email, the Haaretz newspaper said a blogger had tracked the hacker down and determined he was a 19-year-old citizen of the United Arab Emirates studying and working in Mexico.

    Lital Shochat, an aide to Ayalon, said Israel was aware of the report but had not yet requested help from Mexican authorities.
     
    A Hamas spokesman described OxOmar's actions as "a new form of resistance".

    "We urge Arab youth to ignore these cowardly Israeli threats and to use all means available in the virtual space to confront Israeli crimes," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in Gaza.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    When somebody dies lonely and alone, Miyu Kojima steps in to clean their home and organise the mementos of their life.

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    The rise of the Orthodox Church in Russia appears unstoppable, write filmmakers Glen Ellis and Viktoryia Kolchyna who went to investigate the close ties between the church and Putin.

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    Much of India's media spurns a scoop about the son of PM Modi's right-hand man. Plus, NFL as platform for race politics.