Palestinians say falsely identified as Mossad agents in cyber attack
Published Monday 15/04/2013 (updated) 17/04/2013 15:41
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Hackers who published the names of alleged Mossad agents have infuriated several Palestinians living in Israel who say they were falsely identified as agents of the Israeli intelligence agency.
Hackers in March published lists naming thousands of alleged Mossad employees.
One Palestinian named in the leak said "amateur hackers seemingly obtained the names from private business companies and claimed the names were of Mossad agents," adding that the names appeared to have been taken from shoe stores, travel agencies and private businesses.
A 32-year-old Palestinian living in Haifa in northern Israel said she was shocked when a colleague said her name was on the list.
"I expected he was joking, so I asked him to congratulate me for that, but he insisted he was serious, and he showed me the list with my name in it," the woman told Ma'an, asking not to be identified.
She said the ordeal was tough because her co-workers took the allegation seriously. "They were whispering together and looking at me with suspicious glances.
"As other virtuous Arabs, I found myself faultlessly facing accusations as a result of a situation fabricated by some individuals who published a list of names without checking the validity of their claims."
She added: "Though I am not involved in any political activities, I am a patriotic Palestinian loyal to my homeland's interests. After all the suffering I went through in my life, I found myself under suspicion and defending myself. It is really bitter to destroy virtuous people just because some individuals wanted to satisfy their desires and publish uncertain information."
She said her family's reputation was damaged and so she contacted local organizations for assistance, but found they were not interested in the case.
"So I decided to launch a campaign to discharge all the people whose names appeared in the alleged list from the false accusations."
The woman also contacted the hacker groups involved in the campaign.
"The Anonymous group told me they would check and publish a clarification, but later they said the list was published by another group called Sector 707," she said.
She got in touch with websites that had published the list, and says she received several apologies.
"We obtained the list from one of the hackers and we took it down after two or three hours after we discovered the names were taken from the database of a telecommunications company," one of the websites told her, she says.
Meanwhile, a Palestinian man living in Upper Galilee told Panet website that his name appeared on the list.
"I was shocked when I saw my name and contact information in an alleged list of Mossad agents. The worst thing about the case was that a majority of people treated that list as if it was real, and they started to view the names in the list as if they were really Mossad agents. This is a false accusation and it is very dangerous," he said.