Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Breaking News

Palestinian Hackers Use Porn in Cyberattack

A group of hackers from Gaza used pornographic videos in a wide-scale cyberattack on several Israeli institutions and individuals.

A report titled Operation Arid Viper: Bypassing the Iron Dome released Monday by the cyber security company Trend Micro detailed the hacking campaign carried out by the tech workers from Gaza. The report called the strategy of using pornographic videos “distinct” and “previously unseen.”

The hackers sent individuals a “phishing” email with a “pornographic movie” meant to embarrass targets into ignoring the cyber infiltration, the report said.

Trend Micro described the process through an actual example:

“[A]n employee in an Israeli government receives and opens a highly targeted phishing email. A pornographic movie starts to play on his screen, which he hurriedly closes before any of his colleagues notice. … Minutes later, an attacker from somewhere in the Gaza Strip in Palestine gets notified that a new victim’s system has been successfully infected.”

According to Trend Micro, Operation Arid Viper targeted a government office, transportation service providers, a military organization and an academic institution in Israel, as well as an academic institution in Kuwait and several unidentified Israeli individuals.

Trend Micro identified three men with “some apparent connection” to Operation Arid Viper: Khalid Samra, Ahmed Jmal and Mahmoud Hashem. One of the reasons for their success, the report said, was that they launched their attacks from outside Gaza. The attacks originated in Germany, which is not on an Israeli Internet service provider “ban list.”

The report followed a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that the National Cyber Bureau, Israel’s cyber protection agency, will be “upgraded” to the National Cyber Authority. As an authority, the organization will receive more funding and be given more influence over public policy, The Times of Israel reported.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.