A few weeks back, there was a small news story that blipped across the media about a local Jewish temple in Planation that was hit by a scurrilous cyberattack. Temple Kol Ami Emanu-El's website was hijacked with anti-Semitic messages, including a shoutout to the ISIS terrorist group.
Although the incident was initially written off as a random bit of cyber pranksterism, now, a couple of weeks later, it's become clear the hack was part of a global attack that targeted more than 200 sites reportedly pulled off by a group of Arab teens.
The Kol Ami Emanu-El site was defaced in October with rambling message about the treatment of Muslims and "calls for the elimination of 'America and allies,'" according to the Miami Herald. The message also stated, "I love you ISIS." The group claiming responsibility for the attack is called Team System Dz.
This wasn't the outfit's first big-picture cyber assault. In July, as Israeli forces battled and bombed in Gaza, Team System Dz began a campaign -- or as they put it, a cyber intifada -- called #OpSaveGaza. They cracked through the backdoor of a number of websites, replacing the content with open screeds against the Gaza military operation, according to GeekTime.com.
"Hackers, Human Right Organisations and Activists all around the world to unite again and start a campaign against Israhell," the hackers posted. "The act of launching rockets from Gaza sector to Israhell is an acceptable and normal reaction," and they want to expose "Israel war activity."
Although the group boasts solidarity with the hacktivist collective Anonymous, GeekTime reported the Team System Dz is a separate group of "Arab youth."
In July, Team System Dz posted screen grabs of their hacks to their Facebook page (since deactivated). The targets seemed picked at random -- a Spanish tech company; a Brazilian programmer; a South African motorcycle dealer.
In October, the group seems to have expanded its targets, hitting 200 web sites across the globe, according to TheCryptosphere.com. Besides striking Kol Ami Emanu-El's web address, Team System Dz wiggled into rando targets like University of New Brunswick's Student Union site. It appears the pages weren't chosen so much for who they were as what kind of software they were running.
"Devise one hack that works on a site running a particular configuration of the software and you have essentially hacked ALL of them; all that's left is the button-pushing," explained a Cryptosphere blogger in a post. "That is how massive attacks like this happen. It's one flaw, one vulnerability, exploited two hundred separate times."
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!