Hackers take control of the Facebook pages of Bank Leumi, Israel Railways and the national lottery agency Mifal Hapayis.
By Ayala Tsoref
Palestinian hackers took control Friday night of the Facebook pages of Bank Leumi, Israel Railways and the national lottery agency (Mifal Hapayis). All three targets are managed by the same person, Adam Shuv, whose own Facebook page was also hacked over the weekend.
The hackers left a calling card on the sites they broke into: the message "hacked for Palestine" and the image of Osama bin Laden.
Most of the damage was repaired by last night, as Leumi officials endeavored to reassure customers that the bank's own computers and servers are secure and were not affected by the Facebook folly.
The hackers posted status updates on the pages, in Hebrew, which like any Facebook status update appeared, under the names of those who presumably wrote them - in this case, Israel Railways and Mifal Hapayis - on the Facebook pages of all those organizations' myriad Facebook friends. Some of those friends responded to the hackers' statements with some juicy comments of their own.
The Twitter account of Shuv's Internet company, Refresh, was also hacked, with a tweet, in Arabic, saying "I posted a new picture" and giving the link to an anti-Israeli image.
Some of the damage was repaired in the course of Friday night and Saturday morning, but for some periods the Israel Railways and Mifal Hapayis Facebook pages were temporarily unavailable. The Leumi site was repaired first, and was hack-free by yesterday morning.
Shuv said that pro-Palestinian hackers had stolen the identity of a Refresh employee who had been the administrator of the three Facebook pages that were hacked, and said his staff acted quickly to recover control of the employee's Facebook account.
On Friday night, after learning about the virtual break-ins, Shuv posted the following status: "Hostile elements identifying with Al-Qaida hacked into our Facebook pages. Rest assured that everything is under control and will be fixed."
Bank Leumi posted the following status update to its 42,500 Facebook friends: "We are pleased to report that the operation to end the takeover by foreign elements of our page has ended successfully and that the situation is back to normal."
The bank said in a statement that it took rapid action to tackle the problem, stressing that the security of the bank's own computers and servers was never compromised.
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