Some satellite TV viewers in Israel got a surprise on Monday, when their regular programming was interrupted by an unscheduled transmission calling for an end to Israeli airstrikes in Gaza.
Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian political organisation Hamas, claimed responsibility for the hack, which took over the satellite feed of Channel 10 for a few minutes to broadcast images of wounded civillians and propaganda messages directed at Israeli citizens.
As YNetNews reports, the images broadcast by the hackers were accompanied by messages in Hebrew:
“Your government chose to begin this campaign. If your government won’t agree to our terms then prepare yourselves for a drawn-out stay in bomb shelters.”
At least one viewer caught the hack on video:
Another message, clearly directed at the mothers of Israeli soldiers, sent a stark warning:
“If you don’t want your sons to be prisoners or to be killed then call them quickly to go back home.”
Precisely how the hackers managed to inject their messages into Channel 10’s programming isn’t currently clear. One theory is that hackers might have gained access to servers used by the station (perhaps via phishing or a targeted malware attack) and replaced media files with their own footage.
To be honest, I cannot imagine this kind of hack achieving the kind of results that the attackers might desire – and is unlikely to change anyone’s views about the rights and wrongs of what is going on in the region. But at the very least the hack will have helped generate publicity for the Hamas cause.
And don’t expect conflict in the area to not carry on spilling out onto the internet. This is going to run and run – with attacks perpetrated by both sides.
For instance, in a separate incident, the Facebook page of Domino’s Pizza in Israel was defaced this weekend by hackers who posted threatening status updates.
“Today will strike deep in Israel, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem, Ashkelon, Ashdod more than 2000 rockets. Weâ€™ll start at 7. Counting back towards the end of Israel â€¦ Be warned!”
To their credit, pizza lovers didn’t seem too disturbed by the defacement posting mocking messages:
“Hey, please reserve a missile for me with jalapenos, green olives, extra cheese, and mushrooms. You have my address. Tell the delivery boy to activate the alarm when it is arriving, so I know to put my pants on.”
What a strange world we live in…