The hackers say they could have caused some serious damage
Hackers of the Islamic Cyber Resistance Group claim to have breached the computer systems of the Israel Airports Authority (iaa.gov.il), the body responsible for the management of the country’s civil airports and land-to-land border terminals. The attack is part of the campaign called OpIsrael.The hackers say they’ve gained access to the organization’s internal networks and stole sensitive files, including information on domestic and international flights, details on management and flight routing software, weather condition maps, and flight briefs used by control towers and pilots.
The Islamic Cyber Resistance Group claims that it could have caused service disruptions, but they haven’t taken such action “due to humanitarian considerations.” On the other hand, they allegedly wiped the data found on the compromised server.
“In this operation, we gained access to the flight management plans and were able to make online changes to them. Also by gaining access to ATIS/VOLMET system, disruption in data communications (such as flight routing and weather conditions) between plane and ground stations was possible,” the hackers noted in a statement posted on Wikileak.ir.
The Muslim hacktivists say they’ve had access to the Israel Airports Authority’s systems for months. During this time, they’ve downloaded a “huge amount” of data and analyzed Israel’s aviation systems.
“[As] the world knows, killing women, children and innocent people is a profession exclusive to Israel and its neophytes, and we, as ordered by Islam, do condemn such moves and, thus, find it sufficient to release sensitive information to prove that we have had the access to the servers and downed the website,” they said.
We’ve reached out to the Israel Airports Authority to see if they can comment on the incident. At press time, we haven't received a response from them.
In mid-December 2013, the same hacker group leaked information allegedly related to Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Al-Qaeda. The attack came in response to the assassination of Hezbollah commander Hassan Lakkis in Beirut.
Update. An Israeli expert says the hackers' claims are bogus. He says the information they've leaked is publicly available on the Internet, and that most likely they haven't hacked anything.
For additional details check out our follow-up on this story.