Comment: Israel Intensifies Information War
January 14, 2009 2 Comments
By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
John Minto is well known in New Zealand’s political circles. In 2005, a documentary on the country’s most influential public figures positioned him firmly within the top 100. Earlier today, Minto accused Israeli military and security agencies of orchestrating cyber-attacks on New Zealand websites, including his own, that are critical of Israel’s ongoing incursion in Gaza. He also said that websites in Britain and elsewhere have had “similar experiences”, which he blamed on “a dedicated unit within the Israeli military which monitors and does its best to close down sites which are effective in organizing opposition to Israeli policies”.
A spokesman for the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS), the government agency that was recently found to be spying on domestic political activists, said NZSIS “really didn’t have any comment to make” on Minto’s allegations. But California-based security firm Fortify warned a few days ago that the Israeli-Arab cyberwar is rapidly intensifying due to the war in Gaza. A representative of the company said that hacking attacks are no longer directed just on government sites. In early January, Israeli military hackers reportedly hijacked the Hamas television station Al-Aqsa, to broadcast “animated clip[s] of Hamas’ leadership being gunned down”. The purported cyber-attacks are said to be part of a wider information war launched by the Israeli military and security agencies since the start of the ongoing Gaza war. Some Arab cyber-attacks have also been reported, though apparently not originating from Arab government agencies. On January 10, Ashiyaneh, an infamous group of Iranian hackers claimed it had successfully concluded a cyberattack against the website of Mossad, Israel’s national intelligence agency.
To return to John Minto’s allegations from New Zealand, it should be noted that Israeli intelligence activity has long been confirmed in that country. In July 2004, the New Zealand government severed its diplomatic relations with Israel after two Mossad agents were caught trying to acquire New Zealand passports in Auckland. The two Israeli agents, Uri Kelman and Eli Cara were convicted of passport fraud and jailed in New Zealand for six months before being unceremoniously expelled back to Israel.