Israel isn’t too happy after thousands of its citizens’ credit card details were posted online by a hacker, according to Reuters. The country said it was one of the worst attacks it has faced and compared the security breach to a terrorist operation.
Danny Ayalon, deputy foreign minister of Israel said it was “a breach of sovereignty comparable to a terrorist operation, and must be treated as such”.
“Israel has active capabilities for striking at those who are trying to harm it, and no agency or hacker will be immune from retaliatory action,” he added.
Commercial web sites were the focus of the attack and Ayalon said that Israel hasn’t ruled out the possibility that the hacking was carried out by a “more organised and sophisticated” group rather than just one person.
The hacker, known as 0xomar, claims to have leaked personal information about more than 400,000 Israelis. However, credit card companies said 25,000 credit card numbers had been posted and some were expired.
The Haaretz newspaper claimed that the hacker had been tracked down by an unnamed blogger who discovered him to be a 19 year old United Arab Emirates student studying and working in Mexico.
Security expert Professor Stefan Katzenbeisser of Technische Universität Darmstadt told a security conference in Berlin that the GSM-R which is being installed in train networks makes them vulnerable to hackers.
Katzenbeisser said that the new system was vulnerable to “Denial of Service” attacks and, while trains could not crash, service could be disrupted for quite some time. Speaking to the Chaos Communication Congress he said that Network Rail is currently installing GSM-R across the British railway network.
It uses the similar technical standards to 2G mobile networks and is due to replace older signalling technology in southern England next year, and throughout the whole country in 2014. But train switching systems, which enable trains to be guided from one track to another at a railway junction, have historically been separate from the online world. If they were connected to the internet as they are in GSM-R they could be hit by Denial of Service attacks.
At the moment Britain trains can grind to a halt for things on the line ranging from frost, ice and leaves.