fbpx
Cyber-wellness Means Cyber-awareRead more Addressing maternal mental healthcare in AfricaRead more Qatar v. Ecuador to kick off FIFA World Cup 2022™ on 20 NovemberRead more Webb Fontaine Announces Launch of Niger National Single Window (NNSW) to Bolster TradeRead more Ethiopia: Loan from United Nations Fund Allows Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to Scale Up Fertilizers for Farmers in TigrayRead more How Choosing the Right Printer Helps Small Businesses and Content Creators to Save Time, Maximise Productivity and Achieve GrowthRead more The United States Contributes USD $223 Million to Help World Food Programme (WFP) Save Lives and Stave Off Severe Hunger in South SudanRead more Eritrea: World Breastfeeding WeekRead more Eritrean community festival in Scandinavian countriesRead more IOM: Uptick in Migrants Heading Home as World Rebounds from COVID-19Read more

Hackers release Israeli LGBTQ dating site details

show caption
Atraf's mostly male clients feared their details could be revealed, saying for some the leak was "life threatening" (participants at Jerusalem Gay Pride pictured June 2019)./AFP
Print Friendly and PDF

Nov 03, 2021 - 10:02 AM

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL — Israel’s justice ministry said Tuesday Google had blocked sites of a hacking group that leaked user details of an Israeli LGBTQ dating site, an attack some security experts blamed on Iran.

“The Google search engine blocked access to the sites of the group Black Shadow,” the justice said ministry said, a move it said was taken at the request of the government’s Cyber Unit.

Messaging application Telegram had also suppressed Black Shadow groups, it added.

The announcement came hours after Black Shadow dumped a large file online, that was said to contain as many as a million users of the Atraf dating site.

Black Shadow had already released a batch of Atraf user profiles over the weekend, and on Sunday demanded $1 million within 48 hours to prevent the wider leak.

Atraf is owned by CyberServe, an Israeli web development company.

Keren Elazari, a cyber security expert and a researcher at Tel Aviv and Reichman universities, said the hack of CyberServe bore many similarities with previous Iran-linked attacks.

“It was the use of the same technique, the same technical tools and the behaviour, the online leak, the threat, the victim blaming, and the requirement for ransom,” she said.

Hilda Peer, a board member of The Aguda — The Association for LGBTQ Equality in Israel — told AFP that calls to the group’s hotline had doubled.

Atraf’s mostly male clients feared their details could be revealed, saying for some the leak was “life threatening,” Peer said.

“They picked the right target to sow panic,” she added.

Amir Lev-Brinker, an LGBTQ activist, told AFP he noticed security appeared to be lax when he used the site before he got married.

“Everybody knows I’m gay,” Lev-Brinker said. “But there are still somethings that you wish were secret.”

Atraf said it was working “intensely” to cope with the hack.

Ohad Zaidenberg, a cyber threat expert specialised in Iran, said he believed the hack into CyberServe was part of a trend.

“In the last two years, the Iranian aggressiveness level in the cyber domain raised up,” he said.

Iran and Israel have been engaged in a so-called “shadow war”, that has included physical attacks on ships and aggression online.

Iran on Sunday accused Israel and the US of a cyber attack on its petrol distribution system that caused havoc at fuel pumps nationwide.

  • bio
  • twitter
  • facebook
  • latest posts

ZONNTECH.COM uses both Facebook and Disqus comment systems to make it easier for you to contribute. We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. All comments should be relevant to the topic. By posting, you agree to our Privacy Policy. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, name-calling, foul language or other inappropriate behavior. Please keep your comments relevant and respectful. By leaving the ‘Post to Facebook’ box selected – when using Facebook comment system – your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the “X” in the upper right corner of the Facebook comment box to report spam or abuse. You can also email us.