When HackRead reported, #OpIsrael: Mossad Website breached, Personal Details of over 30,000 Agents Leaked by Anonymous, my first thought was that I wished they didn’t just uncritically repeat claims.Times of Israel adds:
Did they examine the database/spread sheets before repeating tweets and claims? I did a random check of the database, and frankly, I find it extremely unlikely that the hackers obtained any information on Mossad agents, much less all their agents as well as government officials and politicians.
The data seem to include the names, addresses, phone and fax numbers, ID numbers, and email addresses of approximately 35,000 individuals. Some of the individuals in the database have multiple entries. Many seem to be merchants or others with no connection to the government at all.
Maybe some of the data are from people applying to become part of Mossad, but even that is a stretch when you start Googling some of the individuals in the database.
Think what you want of Mossad’s actions, but they are not stupid. They’ve known that they are targets, and not just by Anonymous or hacker groups. Covert operatives’ names and contact details thrown into a large database connected to the Internet? Highly unlikely. So unless someone has some proof that this database really has data on Mossad agents, I remain skeptical, to say the least.
In an unsettling announcement, the hacker group known as Anonymous and affiliates proclaimed over the weekend that they had broken into the Mossad’s servers and stolen the names and personal details of top IDF officials, politicians and, especially, Mossad agents. But those claims are inflated, to say the least, according toI looked at the list of names and emails as well. It looks like several different low-level breaches stuck together, but it looks nothing like what a Mossad list would look like.
“Whatever they stole, it probably wasn’t secure details of top Israeli brass, either from the army or the Mossad,” Pavel told The Times of Israel.
Reports on several hacker websites said that Anonymous, along with the Turkish group The Red Hack and the Arab group Sector404, both of which are allied with Anonymous, managed to break into the Mossad’s public website and steal several Excel spreadsheets containing the details of over 34,000 “Mossad agents.” The files list names of the alleged agents, email addresses (private and work), home addresses and other identification information. The hack is just the first of a major new front in Anonymous’ ongoing #OpIsrael campaign, which aims to destroy Israel’s cyber-presence.
But whatever it was that the hackers thought they got, it wasn’t a list of Mossad agents, said Pavel. “There is no doubt that they got some identification information about Israelis, but the claims that they hacked the Mossad site and got a list of Mossad agents is most likely psychological warfare, and not a hack into an important database,” said Pavel.
Pavel downloaded and analyzed the files (they were posted for all to see on hacker sites), and found that the information didn’t match what one would expect to find in the personal dossier of spies. “Many of the records in those files appear two, three, and even five times, with the identical information repeated,” said Pavel.
In addition, said Pavel, “there are many records that list the names of businesses associated with the individual, including shoe manufacturers, food companies, auto supply stores, high schools, municipalities, synagogues, and even NGOs,” many of which work with Palestinians.
Besides all that, Pavel added, a good chunk of the names list home or business addresses in Arab communities in Israel, including Taybeh, Umm al-Fahm, Kafr Kassem, and others. “Whatever you want to say about any of the other inconsistencies, it’s extremely unlikely that thousands of Israeli Arabs are also Mossad agents,” he said.
When you are a hacker and you pre-announce that you will hack into a high-profile target, your failure means that you will lie to try to maintain your reputation.