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Haaretz: Rabbis for Human Rights Website Hacked - Then Suspended

World  (tags: israel, peace activists, Human Rights, Rabbis for Human Rights, hacked, threats, justice, religious leaders )

- 1225 days ago -
ClubVPS, Rabbis for Human Rights website host, suspended their account last week after a series of hacker attacks disabled the site. Shortly after, the new hosting company received a warning message in Hebrew, demanding that it cease providing services


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Evelyn B (63)
Monday March 14, 2016, 3:25 am

Rabbis for Human Rights Website Hacked - Then Suspended

ClubVPS, the company hosting the site, suspended the left-wing Israeli NGO's account on the grounds that it 'violated the terms of use.'
Oded Yaron
Mar 12, 2016 7:13 PM

The company hosting the website of Rabbis for Human Rights suspended the organization's account last week after a series of hacker attacks disabled the site.

Shortly afterwards, the new hosting company received a warning message in Hebrew, demanding that it cease providing services to the organization.

Among its many activities, Rabbis for Human Rights promotes human rights for Palestinians. It made the headlines last October, when a 17-year-old settler armed with a knife attacked the organization head, Rabbi Arik Ascherman, who was part of a group assisting Palestinian farmers to harvest olives.

Known as a distributed denial of service attack, the hack of the organization's website is one of the most common on the Internet. There are many variations of DOS attacks, but their basic objective is to swamp a web server with so much data that it eventually stops working.

The data originates from multiple compromised computers, all of which target a single server. In most cases, the service can be recovered relatively quickly, though a heavy DDOS attack can sabotage a server for a considerable amount of time.

The use of a DDOS attack on a human rights organization is not new. A Harvard University study from 2010 described DDoS attacks on independent media and human rights organizations as "an increasingly common Internet phenomenon, capable of silencing Internet speech."

Maor Barzani of TechnoCraft, which is responsible for the Rabbis for Human Rights website, told Haaretz that the hosting company, ClubVPS, had informed him that the account had been suspended, though it had not given him any data regarding the attack.

A Haaretz request for data also went unanswered.

A representative of the company told Barzani by phone that the decision to remove the site from the network and not return it to operation was made by the company's CEO. He also said that "the content of the site could be problematic."

The company said in an email that its system had identified unusual or "damaging" activity on the account, which consequently had been suspended due to "the violation of accepted usage policies, terms of use or privacy policy."

"The disruption caused considerable damage to our infrastructure or public image, due to which the decision to suspend the account is final and not open to discussion," the company wrote.

Another hosting company agreed to host the website after the account was suspended by ClubVPS. But it didn't take long for the new host to receive a threatening email:

"Shalom. This is the first and last announcement," the email said. "Please remove this site from the server in order to limit future damage."

An investigation revealed that the message was sent from New Jersey, Barzani said, though it's not difficult to spoof a sending address.

The new hosting company, which asked not to be identified, said that it had not experienced any heavy attacks as yet.

Evelyn B (63)
Monday March 14, 2016, 3:37 am
Israeli style democracy using 21st century methods to block free speech by critics of government & extreme right ...

Not so different from the petition posted that wants non-violent criticism & support for action against political strategies & actions of the Israeli government & extreme right wing groups to be banned on C2NN. (Under the guise of banning "anti-Semitism" as per the title, but focussing on BDS, to make BDS illegal & classified as "racist", "anti-Semitic". Even reporting on Rabbis for Human Rights trouble with hackers from the right wing extremists would be considered "anti-Semitic" if this petition were to be acted upon! (Genuine anti-Semitism is already against C2NN rules, along with all forms of racism, hate-mongering & promotion of discrimination .... As indeed it should be. But don't let's confuse valid criticism with generalised hate & racism, including anti-Semitism!)

Animae C (508)
Monday March 14, 2016, 4:04 am
Thanx Evelyn

Ana Váquez (14)
Monday March 14, 2016, 4:58 am

Ingo Schreiner (8)
Monday March 14, 2016, 5:28 am

Darren Woolsey (218)
Monday March 14, 2016, 12:04 pm
Thanks Evelyn.

fly bird (26)
Monday March 14, 2016, 7:48 pm
Wicked!! Rabbis for Human Rights is a great site to learn from.

Thks, Evelyn.

fly bird (26)
Monday March 14, 2016, 8:04 pm
Help of Rabbis for Human Rights acknowledged in largest Palestinian newspaper in OT.

Photos: Rabbis come out in support of Bedouin villages Umm al Hiran & Atir.

. (6)
Tuesday March 15, 2016, 4:23 am
Why not post an impartial rendering of this story??

Evelyn B (63)
Tuesday March 15, 2016, 5:30 am
Barbara - you are free to - although I'm not sure your version would be LESS impartial than Haaretz' ... just with a strong anti-Rabbis for Human Rights bias, as you don't approve of their opinions.

But that is what free speech is about - and why Rabbis for Human Rights should be free to post their perspectives as well as those who share your opinions posting THEIR perspectives.

Evelyn B (63)
Tuesday March 15, 2016, 5:31 am
And when you've posted your preferred version, put a link to it here, too -

Discussion & debate are part of free speech.

Peggy B (43)
Tuesday March 15, 2016, 11:36 am
Thanks for sharing Evelyn.

Eleonora Oldani (37)
Friday March 18, 2016, 3:11 pm

Thanks Evelyn! I join rather late due to my ongoing problems with the Care2 website :-(.

Is it truly a surprise that peace groups in Israel are hacked and ultimately suspended?! Strange enough though - websites that spread hate and incite people are never hacked ... On the very rare occasion they are suspended after a long fight with the authorities like "The Holy Men of Hebron" a few years ago who called for the annihilation of all Palestinians; Christians and Muslims alike.

Which brings me to ISIS/Da'esh and their websites and social networks: it's very easy for any authority to close down child-porn sites and anti-Semitic websites (if they want) - why is it not "possible" for the authorities to clamp down on ISIS/Da'esh's websites and social networks?!?!?!

As so often said: Honi soit qui mal y pense!

As for that petition you mentioned, Evelyn - I couldn't help but laugh. Anyone who's ever followed a discussion here on Care2 about Israel sees within a few comments who's derailing the discussion and resorts to ad hominem attacks and verbal abuse of those who are not pro-Zionists.

And anyone who's followed a discussion about Islam sees the same phenomenon popping up after a few comments by those of us who try to curb their hatred and false propaganda.

In both cases it is those who proclaim(ed) on their profiles to be "Jewish" (in quotation marks as it should read "Zionist") and whose actions are nothing but the well known Hasbara narrative straight out of the handbook.

As for the RHR - they're great people and live the true spirit of Judaism. They together with Uri Avnery and other unknown heroes deserve our full support and respect.


Evelyn B (63)
Friday March 18, 2016, 3:39 pm
Not really surprising that we see no link yet to a supposedly "impartial" version of the story ...
"Facts is facts" - This is an Israeli paper's report, RHR have been hacked, have had to change servers/website host, & the webstie hosts have been threatened ....

People in Israel working sincerely for better understanding & peace-building ARE at risk - from extreme right-wingers & pro-political Zionist extremists (& even from the authorities) .rather than from Palestinians, most of whom are welcoming to Israelis who come in peace (not with a bible in one hand & a gun in the other, and no hand free to reach out to shake hands!)
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