First Physical Retaliation for a Cyberattack

Israel has acknowledged that its recent airstrikes against Hamas were a real-time response to an ongoing cyberattack. From Twitter:

CLEARED FOR RELEASE: We thwarted an attempted Hamas cyber offensive against Israeli targets. Following our successful cyber defensive operation, we targeted a building where the Hamas cyber operatives work.

HamasCyberHQ.exe has been removed.

­Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) May 5, 2019

I expect this sort of thing to happen more—not against major countries, but by larger countries against smaller powers. Cyberattacks are too much of a nation-state equalizer otherwise.

Another article.

EDITED TO ADD (5/7): Commentary.

Posted on May 6, 2019 at 4:09 PM48 Comments


pinoli May 6, 2019 6:53 PM

HamasCyberHQ.exe has been removed
What? Is a major military institution making 4chan tier jokes?

Ari Trachtenberg May 6, 2019 7:23 PM

The title is misleading … Israel retaliated against missiles being fired against its civilian population. The cyberhackers were collateral damage in the greater defensive maneuver.

Jon May 6, 2019 7:31 PM

Or, “Um, we beaned the wrong building, but this is a great excuse ’cause nobody can disprove it.”


Sok Puppette May 6, 2019 8:00 PM

Great. Now we have national military establishments trash-talking on Twitter after bombing people, like they won some kind of video game.

That’s a path we really need to go down.

de Amorim May 6, 2019 8:11 PM

Regards to the strategic thinking and virtual world affecting our real world. We have seen that behaviour a long time ago at fully automated financial markets[1] and we think that it is important that Schneier point out that information to the forefront at that domestic issue.

[1] TEDxNewWallStreet – Sean Gourley – High frequency trading and the new algorithmic ecosystem

ChockedBySchneier May 6, 2019 9:17 PM

Do you realize Palestinians are fighting for their freedom against colonization?
And you are happy they take bombs on their heads because they have less power?
You are a good at security but very bad at justice.

Gweihir May 6, 2019 10:17 PM

Just waiting for this to be used by a 3rd party to get someone bombed. There is no way in this universe to target anything like that reliably, unless you have an asset on-site and directly observing and confirming the electronic attack.

Amit May 6, 2019 11:44 PM

Well, I would be wary about calling it a “real time” response.
At least according to IDF publications, the bombing was done after a failed cyber attack, and probably the only reason this building was attacked was that it was included in the target list Israel keeps for violent escalations such as the one that was ongoing a couple of days ago.
Tweeting about this specific bombing was probably just another step in the ongoing social media quarrel that exists for years (for instance: )

Bruce Schneier May 7, 2019 2:38 AM


“Do you realize Palestinians are fighting for their freedom against colonization? And you are happy they take bombs on their heads because they have less power? You are a good at security but very bad at justice.”

I don’t think I said one way or another what I thought about the geopolitics of the attack. This is not meant to be a blog about that. There are lots of places to talk about those things.

Mosul May 7, 2019 4:07 AM

I think it’s difficult to separate the story you wish to talk about from the injustices.

It is on one hand a milestone, yes a cyber attack met with a kinetic response.
I do doubt it is actually the first such. I think it’s weird this is marketed like that.

It’s almost as if the “story” is being put out with a specific angle to avoid talking about the less pleasant (and more controversial) aspects of this news item.

I believe Bruce. I don’t think he meant to go into the minefield, I believe he meant to talk about the limited point. I think the minefield pays no mind to his intent.

Wesley Parish May 7, 2019 4:55 AM

It sets a rather worrying precedent. Just down the way we have Saudi Arabia and Iran facing off; south-east of that we have Pakistan and India facing off. And Pakistan and India are nuclear powers.

I’m sure the IDF are much like other great power military; they have enough gaping holes in their systems to permit nearly anything.

Overall it indicates just where Israel is as a state – anything Palestinians do is met by force. It shows a lack of imagination, and when placed in the context of Jewish history, places Israel alongside the Tsarist Russian Empire as a flailing, failing institution.

Clive Robinson May 7, 2019 5:35 AM

@ Bruce,

The Lawfare article by Prof. Robert Chesney Associate Dean of the University of Texas School of Law, is an unfortunate commentry to pick.

He is using the US War Hawk argument of claiming some form of alledged provocation as an excuse to commit a “First Strike” kinetic attack which would otherwise be illegal.

It needs to be said that whilst this is a view strongly promoted by certain politicians and millitary in the US, it’s not a view agreed with by many, and for good reason. It’s a return to fudelistic “Might is right” childish bullying behaviour that over a centry and a half of treaties have tried to take out of political relations between Sovereign Nations, for the betterment of mankind.

One of the reasons “provocation” is a very very bad think to use as argument is how far back do you go?

The US for instance has a history of provocations with North Korea as a method of trying to escalate into open warfare. So far the North Korean leadership no matter what else people might think has unlike the US behaved as a “Rational Actor” as have China and Russia since the 1950’s ceasefire.

North Korea’s response has been to make a very large “Keep Off the Grass” sign for certain US politicians and warhawks through the US civilian population.

Unfortunately other nations have not been so lucky. Iran knows that the US want to make it a slave state to get at it’s oil reserves etc, otherwise they would have been “bombed into the stone ages” by now as the US has been consistently doing with other nations for around eight decades. However Iran again behaved as a “Rational Actor” unlikr the US. An international group of nations enteted into talks. The US pushed for what it thought the Iranian Leadership could not say yes to, in order to justify what the US intended to do next. The Iranian’s called the US out by saying “yes” and the US wrong footed blustered the usual crap and wrnt ahead with it’s plans against Iran anyway.

You thus have to start asking what counts as “provocation”.

The US were the first to go out publically and claim that they considered a kinetic response to what they claimed as “cyber attack” whilst lying to the rest of the world just how much it was cyber attacking other nations ICT infrastructure.

As has been pointed out “cyber attribution” is at best easy to get badly wrong for a whole list of reasons. Not least is “False Flag” operations, which not only do we know the CIA had developed but also due to their cavalier attitude to ICT security lost to many others. The same cavalier attitude that got their Chinese agents killed.

So we get the US claiming just the same four countries (China, Iran, North Korea and Russia) are “cyber attacking” the US, which if you think about it is actually highly unlikely, thus there is considerable political reason to do so. But ask yourself how do they know it’s not their own people like the CIA using false flag technology that the NSA then attributes to another nation?

The obvious answer is that the US has already performed sognificant cyber attacks against all nations…

So ask yourself why that is not provocation yet any response to it is?

We know that Israeli “crackers” are very busy cyber attacking all sorts of nations around the world quite successful because the US has burnt some of their methods if not sources. It’s a racing certainty they have cyber attacked all nations in the Middle East, so why is that not provocation?

You can see that Israel yet again make an unsubstantiated claim as the cause for their actions. Unfortunately the IDF and political spokespeople lie so frequently that many who have looked into what is actually said and checked it where possible against independent information have concluded that unless backed by independently verified information the claims by the IDF and political spokespersons are more likely to be fabrications than not, often to cover up significant Israeli provocations prior to the events that become US MSM headlines.

My advice assume the IDF are not telling the truth and look for reliable independent evidence from people not actually commiting acts of provocation for political and military reasons.

It’s what I would have expected a Prof of Law to note, but for some reason Robert Chesney chose not to, which raises questions of it’s own.

Kosta May 7, 2019 6:39 AM

Counter striking with more power shows hate. Hate leads to war. In this way Israeli turned from victims to attacking bad guys. This is stupid.

Petre Peter May 7, 2019 8:03 AM

I think this means that any building can be a target. What happens when one side claims that the other was hidding cyber troupes inside a hospital. Would the hospital get bommed?

wiredog May 7, 2019 9:18 AM

@Petre Peter
During one of the Israeli/Hamas wars in Lebanon Hamas was found (and it was confirmed by others) to be using ambulances to transport ammunition. At which point all the ambulances became legitimate targets. IIRC, a hospital was attacked after snipers started firing from it. So, yes, using a hospital or school to launch cyber-attacks during a time of armed conflict (the Israelis and Hamas are already in combat) makes the hospital or school a legitimate target.

mark May 7, 2019 11:19 AM

I have real trouble believing that. For one… you’re going to tell me they were all in one building? They’re not going through one or more remotes sites as cutouts?

And all of them were there, and they had no backups, and nobody offshift at home?

Slag May 7, 2019 11:45 AM

If I had to guess, I’d say the process was something like:

Detect intrustion attempt, block or curtail intrusion.

Pull logs

Identify source address

Match source address to ISP records (assumed to be already directed connected to government from previous legal requirements)

Bomb address listed in ISP

Estimated time from start to finish if no one stops to double check anything? About 20-30 minutes.

Follow up with public announcement that any attempted hacking will be met by violent death that can kill you and anyone near you.

This model would clearly work well in China, possibly in London and some parts of the US. Germany could do the identification but I don’t think they could do the violent response in that time frame. I’m not sure where else.

JasonR May 7, 2019 11:45 AM

I received an email with this title and basic information as well from another security company as well.

These is really bad reporting and not including the entire context. The IDF didn’t just start bombing physical targets in response to a cyber attack. The IDF bombed a list of strategic targets, including cyber targets. The IDF response came after Hamas fired 600 missiles.

JasonR May 7, 2019 11:49 AM

This quote from the linked other article really sums up the truth of the matter:

“Thomas Rid, professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. ‘But this is not cyberwar, and it has nothing to do with cyber-deterrence. This building appears to have been used by Hamas intelligence operatives, so they’re a legitimate target for Israel.’

Duncan Kinder May 7, 2019 2:14 PM

And what is to prevent Hamas from re-locating it’s cyber activities to somewhere halfway across the globe, where Israel cannot strike back, at least with a simple airstrike?

blonde redhead isn't red (rhymes with orange) May 7, 2019 3:38 PM

I heard about this type of thing several months ago via happenstance peaceful exposure to a completely different earlier article on this same topic: (roim-rachok-israeli-army-autism-program: )

This is yet another “dimension” to geopolitics, worldwide.

Something also NOT mentioned, is that this type of recruiting-training and perhaps conditioning has been done extensively ALSO within the continental USA, within the midwest. It has been severely glossed over and ignored to the point at which there are and have been very real losses and extreme grievances. The complex problems (and even some successes) involve many more lives and families and friendships and relationships and organizations beyond simply thusly-designated “autistic” people. Many of such people aren’t necessarily “autistic” anyhow, and even the classification was revealed recently to have been invented by a NAZI and/or NAZI sympathizer during a previous period of history.

You are welcome to fact-check research the origins of the “autism” “diagnosis”; it’s been recently published in a variety of non-fiction periodicals, books, and other public-domain formats.

Nevertheless, to the main point: war and intel industries grooming and training and recruiting a specific biological and psychological demographic needs to be understood by those who prefer a higher precision comprehension of modernity.

Congratulations on thinking.

A90210 May 7, 2019 4:48 PM

@Duncan Kinder

“And what is to prevent Hamas from re-locating it’s cyber activities to somewhere halfway across the globe, where Israel cannot strike back, at least with a simple airstrike?”

What is to prevent Israel, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia from jamming Bolton and President Trump to try to get a war going with Iran to be fought to the last American.

I hope the US military can avoid being jammed by Bolton and the B Team.

Maxim May 7, 2019 10:18 PM

@Duncan Kinder

“And what is to prevent Hamas from re-locating it’s cyber activities to somewhere halfway across the globe, where Israel cannot strike back, at least with a simple airstrike?”

This is the first comment I read that is actually relevant in the context of this blog and this article, in which cyber warfare meets traditional kinetic warfare.

There are a lot of smart people reading this. Put aside Israel and Hamas and let’s look at the bigger picture here. Can anyone answer @Duncan Kinder‘s question?

Clive Robinson May 8, 2019 4:18 AM

@ Maxim, Duncan Kinder,

Put aside Israel and Hamas and let’s look at the bigger picture here. Can anyone answer @Duncan Kinder‘s question?

You can not put aside the belligerents, because it’s their very nature that forms the answer.

Thus the first question you have to ask is “Are the Israel government entities involved telling the truth,” to which the answer is, their history says it’s unlikely.

Secondly if you find independently that it is true, then comes @Duncan Kinder‘s question, that has an incorrect assumption in it,

    And what is to prevent Hamas from re-locating it’s cyber activities to somewhere halfway across the globe, where Israel cannot strike back, at least with a simple airstrike?

The assumption being there is somewhere they can hide. Before Israel was created as an artificial nation by the British and US Governments from the “Palestine Protectorates” some used to call Jewish people various things many unpleasent however, one was derived from the fact that there was apparently not what we would now call a first or second world nation where they could not be found.

Such ubiquity gives the apearence of omnipresence for the Israeli security forces to hide it’s agents within. Which has resulted in many nations over the years regarding all Jews as spies or later potential spies for Israel, or at the very least assuming they have divided loyalty[1]. Something that has not been helped by the Israeli Government actions over the years.

To see why look up the murder of Gerald Bull in Brussels, the abduction in Rome and imprisonment of Mordechai Vanunu and more recently the murder in a Dubai hotel of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. Oh and the insistance that those emigrating to Israel that they give their passports to the Israeli govetnment along with their life histories.

Thus to answer the question. Based on past and near present Israeli Government history and behaviour if the intelligence agencies had suspicion of such activities abroad anywhere in the world they would consider yet again sending in a death squad to commit the murder of the suspected individuals.

I’m guessing that any future Israeli Government activities will not be such “Showtime” pieces as before due to what happened in Dubai and the current rapid forward movment of CCTV and various visual bio-metrics like gait analysis.

However there are a whole multitude of ways to cover up the murder of a small group of people, such that it looks like a “ttagic accident”. Carbon monoxide poisoning in cold weather, gas supply explosions, oh and terrorists blowing themselves up with their own bomb are just three that fiction writers have used[2].

Thus there is another question that arises. Which is,

“Would the Israeli agents, simply wish to murder their suspects as expediently as possible, or would they also want to send a message?”

The usuall reason for a “Showtime” is to send a message not expediency.

Which in turn raises a more interesting set of questions for the other side. On the assumption a nation did set up a group of cyber-attackers how would they protect them from attack. There are various interesting methods that can be used, that are actually of way more interest to the blog readers hear than of the possible deployment of nation state death squads.

[1] Something all citizens of the Five-Eyes and other nations are beging to understand as their nations assume they are untrustworthy and record every thing they say or do for future usage.

[2] One of the odd things in life is that even with what apparently is totally unthought of attacks, a little digging will find a fiction writer, often of recognized standing has written something like it. 9/11 made that clear to many.

Wesley Parish May 8, 2019 6:22 AM

@Clive Robinson

Such [Jewish] ubiquity gives the apearence of omnipresence for the Israeli security forces to hide it’s agents within. Which has resulted in many nations over the years regarding all Jews as spies or later potential spies for Israel, or at the very least assuming they have divided loyalty[1]. Something that has not been helped by the Israeli Government actions over the years.

Following the Mossad debacle in New Zealand in 2004, when some of their operatives were outed for trying to get New Zealand passports illegally, and also condemned for involving the local Jewish community, someone wrote in the local newspaper that the Lavon Affair should have ruled that out for Mossad.

(The Lavon Affair led directly to the breakup of the two and a half thousand year old Egyptian Jewish communities; I consider it a betrayal of the affected Jewish communities.) But apparently the fact that New Zealand is an easy-going nation led Mossad to break that rule; it certainly has had no lasting effect on the New Zealand Jewish community that I have noticed.

Getting back to the topic, I do consider it quite likely that the IDF will attack Gaza if they detect Russian intrusions into their networks; I consider it likely they will do the same if they detect US intrusions; ditto for French, Irish, Icelandic, Malawian, Bolivian, Cambodian, Indian, Turkish, non-governmental Israeli … in other words, their attributions can be discounted, because they have proved over the years that they will take any opportunity to attack the Palestinians.

Theo May 8, 2019 10:37 AM

Maxim • May 7, 2019 10:18 PM

@ Maxim, Duncan Kinder

“And what is to prevent Hamas from re-locating it’s cyber activities to somewhere halfway across the globe, where Israel cannot strike back, at least with a simple airstrike?”

Presumably it is easier for Hamas to operate in Palestine, otherwise they would not be operating there. Forcing them to move makes it more difficult for them. In a war of attrition you don’t need to win big every time. Small wins add up.

Attacking is a loss if Hamas was wrong about it being easier to operate in Palestine or if the cost of the attack is greater than the cost of the move. (in the appropriate war fighting metric that takes account of the asymmetry).

parabarbarian May 8, 2019 11:01 AM

So, where do I send the GPS coordinates of spammers?

Seriously, defensive cyber response operations cause little loss or pain to the attackers. It may feel good to grouse about this escalation but it really means that defense alone is not working. A public, physical retaliation was an forseeable consequence of reliance on vulnerable systems.

AlexT May 8, 2019 11:54 AM

I wonder how people see the bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade in that context…

ok it was more about SIGINT at the time but pretty close…

Shane May 8, 2019 1:05 PM

It’s interesting that everyone ignores the missiles the Palestinians have been firing into Isreal over the last few days. But as soon as Israel retaliates they’re labeled as the tyrant country. Would any other nation in the world not respond to missile attacks on their country? Antisemitism is alive and well… unfortunately.

AlexT May 8, 2019 1:23 PM

@shane: assuming your comment doesn’t get moderated this is obviously not the question at hand. The issue is about kinetic response to a cyber attack. This raises a lot of valid questions, irrespective of the belligerents.

mishehu May 9, 2019 12:00 AM

@Clive Robinson

With all due respect, sir, I highly suggest that not only you tone down the amount of BBC you watch, but also curtail your political viewpoints. Case in point:

“Before Israel was created as an artificial nation by the British and US Governments from the “Palestine Protectorates”…”

  1. It was called the British Mandate of Palestine prior to 1948, and before that it was the Ottoman Empire.
  2. Wtf does “artificial nation” even mean? It’s not more artificial than England is a nation, and the UK is an empire. For that matter, what makes Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, etc, any less “artificial”? If by this you mean “it was voted into existence by the UN”, then that seems to be far more legitimate than how most countries came into existence.
  3. Do you distrust the British military as much as you have chosen to distrust the Israeli Defense Forces? Do you trust the Palestinian sources more than you trust the Israeli sources? Do your own viewpoints on the legitimacy of the nation of Israel cloud your viewpoints?

On other subjects I’ve enjoyed your input, but most of your commentary here about this subject has very little to do with the subject, and has more to do with your anti-Zionist viewpoints. Let’s keep on topic & let’s accept that Israel exists as an independent nation for 71 years now regardless of your personal feelings on the matter.

Note to both Bruce & Clive: the questions here are rhetorical and require no further deviation from the topic at hand.

Clive Robinson May 9, 2019 5:30 AM

@ AlexT,

ok it was more about SIGINT at the time but pretty close…

Actually it was probably more about ElInt, and other areas of espionage by the Chinese Government with regards the defective stealth technology in the F-117 which was subsequently EOL’d in 2008 long before it’s due date.

What is known is that the five story Chinese Embassy building in Belgrade was RF or “EM-Hot” without real reason, broadcasting fairly meaningless TV at quite pointlessly high power amongst other things. Therefore it is more likely than not they were supporting the Milosevic forces in contravention to their diplomatic mission status.

It’s also now known that the mission that bombed the Chinese Embassy was not instigated by NATO, but was carried out by the US independently on behalf of the CIA thus “hidden under NATO”. It has been the cause of quite some controversy in EU circles where talks about getting rid of NATO and replacing it with an EU only military force are discussed.

What is also known is that on the night of the 27th March 1999, the
Yugoslav military using old Russian Radar was able to detect an F-117 long enough to bring it down. Western journalists swarmed to the crash site of the fairly intact F-117 preventing the US from bombing the crash site and aircraft as would have been standard policy. Shortly there after an unexpected cargo flight from Belgrade to China was tracked and it is thought by many that it contained much of the remains of the downed F-117. Which might account for two things, the unexpected jump in Chinese mastery of Stealth tech in it’s aircraft and the May 2006 announcment by China’s military that it has developed technology to detect U.S. F-22 jet fighters and other stealth aircraft.

Which raises the question of why the F-117 stealth technology was defective. Put simply it was designed for then “current and future threat” of millimetric and centimetric radar, not older incorectly assumed obsolete threats such as VHF/UHF radar. The weakness had been known for some time by a couple of British Military Systems Manufacturers, and at the 1996 Farnborough Air Show they provided a front page grabbing demonstration of the combination of low frequency radar of the sort used on the Type 42 destroyer detecting the stealth aircraft from far out, which passed the information on to a Rapier Missile system, that had publicaly displayed the tracking of US Stealth Aircraft sufficiently to auto-lay a thermal imaging camera on it as it flew at the airshow. This was not just reported in the Newspapers of the time it was seen by millions on the BBC News broadcasts. If you had seen it at the time it would have stuck in your mind as an “Icarus moment”.

Put simply stealth is hard very hard and as a result it is expensive beyond most peoples real comprehension. The F-117 thus was only stealthy to certain frequencies and types of radar, not all. In the case of the F-117 it was vulnerable to both longer wave radar and IR/Thermal wavelengths. If you hunt around you will find it was vulnerable to 2meter amature radio frequencies and it had “half wave resonance” issues at a RF wavelength aproximately twice it’s physical length.

But as has been mentioned a number of times on this blog most Radar uses the “red eye” principle of 180degree reflection. Thus one design characteristic of stealth is not to have surfaces that reflect normal to their orientation, nor to have two or more surfaces that when their orientations combine give a 180degree reflection. The latter being considerably more important than the first, the reason being whilst the first has a very narrow acceptance angle with flat plates, the latter has a very wide acceptance angle (see the principle of the tri-corner reflector).

Unfortunatly stealth can work against it’s self. Whilst you can minimise 180degree reflection you actually make other angles of reflection far worse. Thus you can use a geo-seperated transmitter and receiver.

The first British demonstration of the practicality of aircraft detection by radio reflection was given by Arnold Wilkins[1] on 26th feb 1935. It actually used this geo-seperated principle. Wilkins set up a receiving antenna in a field in Upper Stowe, Northamptonshire that received a 6MHz BBC HF transmitter from near-by Davantry as the source. A delightfully named Handley Page “Heyford” bomber, flew a known path between the receiver and transmiter. The receiver was set up as a “Direct Conversion receiver” (DC) which was essentially a high sensitivity multiply tuned for selectivity RF amplifier followed by a simple product detector with the LF mixing product from the Davantry and Bomber signals further amplified by audio amplifiers filtered and displayed on an oscilloscope. What Arnold Wilkins was displaying was the Doppler shift beat frequency and the bomber was readily detected at ranges upto eight miles. The important thing to note is the Doppler-beat frequency is proportional to the speed of the target vehicle, thus can be “pulled-out” of all the other signals by use of a fairly narrow band filter (he repeated the experiment in 1977 for the BBC who made a TV series based on Prof R.V.Jones book ‘Most Secret War’ ISBN13-8601415669862). Stealth technology is quite vulnerable to this sort of longer wave technology especially when the frequencies used have wavelengths that are a sub-multiple of one of the aircrafts conductive dimensions. Thus the renewed interest in what is now called amongst other things ‘Passive Coherent Localisation’ (PCL) which you might be more familiar with from the ‘see through the wall’ passive systems that use a targets WiFi signals as the illuminating source and with extensive digital signal processing can detect hand and finger movments.

But also some amature radio hobbyists use the principle in the reverse direction with modern jet passenger aircraft. They act as reflectors at 2 Meters and 70cm bands to make long range communications possible in the same way as,they do with meteor showers and the moon.

It has been indicated that the Chinese Embassy ‘TV transmissions’ were being used in this way to detect the F-117. Also that the Embassy had taken over ‘rebroadcasting’ military traffic for Milosevic that had previously been done from his house prior to it being bombed by the US.

However there was a later runour that people were taking the front doors off of their microwave ovens and pointing them upwards to help detect the F-117s. It is very unlikely to be the case for various technical reasons and it appears to have started a half decade or so later as an ‘Internet myth’.

There is an article covering some of this,

For a more ‘MSM view’ of the bombing a few months after the event,

[1] It was actually Arnold Wilkins not his boss Robert Watson (later changed his name to Watson-Watt) who came up with all the ideas and calculations including the reuse of Watson’s storm detector Wikkins had built as the antenna and display system. My mother who had the misfortune of working with Watson during WWII broke her usuall rule of “If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing.” and made very clear not only did she think very little of him but also the reasons why. Which on talking to others at NPL Teddington who had also met and worked with him I found to be a generaly held oppinion. One of whom said of Watson that his mother must have been sensless as she had thrown out the baby and kept the other contents of the nappy…

Clive Robinson May 9, 2019 9:30 AM

@ Wesley Parish,

Following the Mossad debacle in New Zealand in 2004,

You sometimes have to wonder why Mossad gets fingered so often, is it their ineptness, attitude or number of operations?

If you discount ineptness and attitude, then you have the quite unsettling possibility that they may be running so many false flag, murder squad and similar terroristic activities that the simple laws of probability have caught up with them.

But as with the Lavon Affair, many that we know of appear to have become public because one or more of those involved have betrayed their supposed allegiances for various reasons. Thus one has to ask why this would be the case. Is it too many operations needing too many operatives such that they get lower quality operatives? It was pointed out by one member of Mossad who left that some of the people that join Mossad do so to escape frontline service or because of “conections” that their families use to keep them out of frontline service. If true and the numbers are not fractional the implication is that a number of Mossad staff if not operatives are shall we say “appointed above their real pay grade”.

As I’ve mentioned before I’ve run into one or two of them and the only reason I had to notice them was that their idea of a cover story was so week it failed not just the sniff test on first contact, it failed the simplest of “due diligence” tests… It sometimes makes me wonder why they thought a company selling a security product would not be cautious… Any way that was quite some years ago now and the company I worked for at best only exists in name now.

A90210 May 9, 2019 3:46 PM

AMY GOODMAN: “I Put a Spell on You” by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. This is Democracy Now!,, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman. We’re joined by two Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists, Glenn Greenwald and David Cay Johnston, as we look at the results of the 22-month investigation by special counsel Mueller. I want to continue, as we discuss the Mueller report, to turn to Noam Chomsky, when he appeared on Democracy Now! last August.

NOAM CHOMSKY: So, take, say, the huge issue of interference in our pristine elections. Did the Russians interfere in our elections? An issue of overwhelming concern in the media. I mean, in most of the world, that’s almost a joke. First of all, if you’re interested in foreign interference in our elections, whatever the Russians may have done barely counts or weighs in the balance as compared with what another state does, openly, brazenly and with enormous support. Israeli intervention in U.S. elections vastly overwhelms anything the Russians may have done, I mean, even to the point where the prime minister of Israel, Netanyahu, goes directly to Congress, without even informing the president, and speaks to Congress, with overwhelming applause, to try to undermine the president’s policies—what happened with Obama and Netanyahu in 2015.

AMY GOODMAN: So, that’s MIT professor emeritus Noam Chomsky, world-renowned linguist, a well-known dissident, is a writer of over a hundred books. Glenn Greenwald, can you respond?

GLENN GREENWALD: Well, that’s been the other critical point this entire time, is this kind of melodrama over the outrage that any country would dare to interfere in our sacred and glorious democracy, when, as Noam Chomsky just pointed out and has spent the last 40 years pointing out, the United States has done very little since the end of World War II but going around the world and interfering in every single democracy that they can find, literally, including the country in which I’m currently living, which is Brazil, where they overthrew a democratically elected government in 1964 and then proceeded to impose a military regime for 21 years, and also Russia, where they openly boasted about helping to elect Boris Yeltsin because he would privatize everything and that would be good for U.S. industry, or even agitating anti-Putin resistance in parliamentary elections under Hillary Clinton’s reign as secretary of state.

This doesn’t make it right for Russia to do it, but we’ve never kept in perspective the fact that interfering or meddling in other countries’ elections or governance is not some grave, aberrational, never-before-heard drama that the entire world has to stop and lament and put an end to. It’s normal business. We’re currently, right now, in the process of trying to change the government of Venezuela openly, and have done so over and over around the world. And that’s why Noam Chomsky says that all of this moral outrage of Americans at the idea that somebody would interfere in or meddle in our democracy has made the U.S. a laughingstock to the hundreds of millions of people—billions, in fact—who live in countries where the U.S. has done this and far, far worse for decade after decade after decade.

AMY GOODMAN: And, David Cay Johnston, your response?

DAVID CAY JOHNSTON: Well, we live in a world in which governments interfere in the elections of other governments. And the U.S. has had dirty hands about this. Heck, I think I wrote a few stories that touched on this in the ’60s, when I was covering local government in the San Francisco Bay Area but also student demonstrations. There’s no question that we have overthrown regimes and put in place terrible dictators. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be outraged—and we should be—at Russian interference in our election.

We have lots of evidence of extraordinary conduct. Russia, if you’re listening, love it when the Kremlin offers help. The request to use communications gear, the discrediting of American intelligence agencies while accepting Vladimir Putin at his word, and meeting him with no other staff around and destroying the translator’s notes, or meeting with no American translator, and the disclosure in the Oval Office of sources and methods [ an Israeli asset? ] to the Russian foreign minister and the Russian ambassador, which we learned about only because of the Russians, not the White House—all of that is extraordinary behavior that is unlike any former president. …”

name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons May 10, 2019 3:35 AM


Before someone perceives my diatribe as pro-Palestine or anti-Israel, I come at this from a dispute between two parties without the cultural and political biases–where possible. Bias is unavoidable, but so is the discussion of issues were parties are aggrieved historically. Both sides of this debate are victims–where are the winners (I’d say in the stadium box seats)?

There is a very real, meat-space, issue that doesn’t cozy up to the keyboard commando in a way that would be instructive. First, context; I understand Israel occupies Gaza but does not have a declared war against the Palestinians. For a police action, summary execution is not a viable response to specific actions that are not part of an enemy combatant role. Belligerents. maybe. But this geo-political maelstrom is a hopeless situation when the parties are unable, AND, unwilling to solve the problems that make conflict a permanent state of being (that’s a two-state of being).

Without recognizing the legitimate concerns of Palestinian issues; Israel has a bad habit of starting every conversation without a “withdraw your aggressive position, drop your rocks, and stand before us”. Palestinians are rarely treated equally irrespective of the context of their meeting. Hubris needs to be dropped, concession first would be a good start. Try holding a hand out instead of pointing a gun.

Both peoples have been suffering a co-dependent Stockholm syndrome and the effects of this tit/tat continuum.

The reciprocity needs equivalence. Killing people for hacking is unacceptable from an escalation and response. Cutting power to the building would be sufficient in this case.

Clive Robinson May 10, 2019 10:47 AM

@ name.withheld…,

Before someone perceives my diatribe as pro-Palestine or anti-Israel, I come at this from a dispute between two parties…

Unfortunatly there is a high probability of a “drive buy” with historically incorrect facts and a pretense to punctuality and faux ‘Britishness’ or similar, who have in fact not actually been a contributor to this site at any time… I guess they are of the same ilk as “paid trolls” and faux news spreaders we hear so much of these days.

They almost always rise up to choke of legitimate and researched comment when ever our host mentions anything to do with what they claim is their “promised land”. Usually claiming “anti-Zionist” or “anti-Semitism” when the comments they object to have very clearly been directed not at Jewish people or Israeli Citizens in general, individual Israeli Political parties, or Israeli politicians, but as repeatedly said the “Israeli Government” and one or more of their entities such as the Israeli Defence Force, that have deeply routed behaviours of dishonesty going back to what are in modern terms “terrorist roots”.

Oh and they also try to throw in a few irrelevant side issues that they realy don’t have a clue about. Then they run away like thieves in the night.

I’ve found over the years that waiting a few days for the thread to quieten down before I respond the least disruptive method of dealing with such idiots.

mishehu May 12, 2019 2:17 AM


Perhaps toning down your rhetoric would go a lot farther than beating your chest at your perceived moral superiority. IIRC, you are British. If I am correct, then whatever you accuse the gov’t of Israel of doing, the Brits and the Americans have done far worse. Think about all the chaos and death that was caused as a result of toppling a regime for fun & profit (I speak of Mosaddegh, who was victim of a cout de etat brought about by both the MI6 and CIA at BP’s behest, and this is just but one single example). And think about what possibly could have been the situation in the Mideast right now had that not occurred in the first place. (Though prior to the Shah, Iran’s views about Israel weren’t as clear cut as they are now, there was more room for less hatred perhaps. And would there have been the Iran-Iraq War as well, if there was no Islamic Revolution in Iran?)

Or as the saying goes – those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

Please keep your [unqualified] opinions of a geopolitical nature to yourself and discuss the topic at hand instead. That topic doesn’t include Clive’s opinion of who and who doesn’t qualify as a terrorist.

Thank you.

Mike May 12, 2019 3:14 AM

@Clive Robison, @name.withheld.for.obvious.reasons,

For as far as I can remember the MSM has always refused to call it what it really is, an apartheid. There is really no need to think any further on this issue unless you have close dealings with the people involved.

mishehu May 12, 2019 5:36 PM


I’ve known several people who grew up in South Africa during the Apartheid era. If Israel was an Apartheid state as you claim it to be, please explain to me how there are Arab members of the kneset (the Israeli parliament), police officers, doctors, nurses, and yes, even soldiers, with whom I personally served? Even when my son had an anaphylactic reaction to an allergen and was being treated in an ambulance, the medic was Jewish and the driver was a Beduin. And I thanked them both. Israel is not devoid of racial tensions, certainly, but to categorize it as Apartheid does no justice to those who were actually subject to the white Apartheid regime in South Africa.

Mike May 13, 2019 4:11 AM


Then you should know exactly what I’m talking about. Having that said, I don’t condemn its actions nor its existence and let’s leave it at that.

Wesley Parish May 13, 2019 5:08 AM


There is an international definition of apartheid you may wish to consult:

I’d read it during some activism of mine aimed at rectifying Indonesia’s invasion and annexation of East Timor; it was part of some general research I was doing at the time into colonialism. I concluded that this Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid held a valid definition of persistent colonial behaviour.

When the Al Aqsa Intifada started up (dis)courtesy of Ariel Sharon’s provocation at the Temple Mount, and I paid attention to the Israel/Palestine conflict, I concluded that the Racism Convention
applied within (so-titled) metropolitan states eg Israel re Israeli Arabs, but that the Apartheid Convention applied within colonial territories such as the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Consequently, you’re not doing your side any favours by confusing the issues. (It was interesting to read in the 2000s of a pile of posters made and hidden by either Lehi or Etzel, in which the creators solemnly assured the British mandatory authorities that to be in an occupied land was as bad as suffering genocide: it would be interesting to read the top American Zionists on applying that to the Occupied Palestinian Territories. I’ll bet they would not enjoy being accessory to the crime of genocide as defined by Lehi or Etzel.)

Getting back to the topic in hand, and remembering that the Gaza Strip is still regarded as an Occupied Palestinian Territory as proven by Israel’s persistent control of everything within it, a kinetic response to a cybernetic attack happens to be disproportionate. Disproportionate responses happen to be useless for anything except continuing conflicts.

Bystander May 13, 2019 1:28 PM

Given that attribution in case of cyber attacks can be misleading, this policy could put swatting to a new, unimagined level.

MarkH May 14, 2019 4:49 AM


There’s a worthwhile policy discussion to be had about the merits and demerits of various policies for responding to cyberattack.

As far as I can see, discussion of the righteousness or sinfulness of the antagonists, their politics, the history of the territory, and such intrinsically interesting questions as what constitutes apartheid … are 100% off-topic for this thread.

Clive Robinson June 9, 2019 1:50 AM

@ mishehu,

Now things have quietened down.

Firstly anyone who say’s “with all due respect, sir” is starting in on what is usually an insult to some one of more senior rank, and hoping that they will not get treated as they should.

As for the BBC if you were a regular reader of this blog you would have seen a few days earlier that I had actually highlighted a political manipulation of the BBC.

As for what you call my “political viewpoints” and go on and quote my historically acurate comment about the “Palestine Protectorates” and then spout nonsense.

Firstly under the prevaling law of the time which had been around for a century at the end of the First World War, which was when the Ottaman Empire ceased to exist, overseas teritories were either “Protected States” or “Protectorates. You can look this up very easily enough.

The reason for the name “Mandate” came up as a compromise in 1922 as the French and British were slicing and dicing the region up rather than alow the Arab Homeland that had been promissed during WWI. Put simply the League of Nations were just “rubber stamping” decisions that Britain and France were making. In order to look like what it was not British General Smutts put forward the term “Mandate”. The reason General Smutts was so concerned about the area was “military access” across land. If you can be bothered to go to the UK National Archives at Kew in South West London as I’ve encoraged others to do frequently in the past you can look this up. Oh and you might want to also look up the census data, the population was nine tenths Palistinian and the Jewish population a fraction of the remaining tenth…

As for an “artificial nation” you again need to go back into Colonial history. Put simply the idea came to prominence under Cecil Rhodes in Africa. Large parts of the world did not have “nations” they often had fluid tribal boundries. The likes of the British and French would under force of arms create an “artificial nation” where none would naturally have existed. Cecil Rhodes quite delibertly put his national boarders through tribal areas making a nation around two thirds one tribe and one third another tribe thus deliberatly creating tension. He would then put the minority tribe in power and as long as they did what they were told kept them in power. He was also not adverse to stiring trouble up, just to remind people who was boss. It might just account for why quite a few people want to dig up his tomb and destroy both it and his earthly remains.

As for nonsense, what is this rabid rambling about?

“3. Do you distrust the British military as much as you have chosen to distrust the Israeli Defense Forces? Do you trust the Palestinian sources more than you trust the Israeli sources? Do your own viewpoints on the legitimacy of the nation of Israel cloud your viewpoints?”

It looks like proto-typical false reasoning to try to set up a straw man. Which kind of makes it more pointless than your preceding erroneous comments.

But then you trip over and reveal your real purpose with,

“has more to do with your anti-Zionist viewpoints.”

I’ve not once mentioned what might be called “the cult of Zionism” the history of which and it’s relationship to terrorism I could go into but I won’t, because it’s not very difficult for people to look up should they wish to.

With regards,

“Let’s accept that Israel exists as an independent nation for 71 years now regardless of your personal feelings on the matter.”

My personal feelings are not what you are trying to claim them to be. However perhaps we should especially consider the words of David Ben-Gurion. Who was a zionist and first Prime Minister of Israel, who back in 1948 set Israeli policy in stone when speaking and writting of the removal of Palestinians from the lands they owned,

“We must do everything to insure they never do return.”

“The old will die and the young will forget.”

Similarly when speaking of land in other nations,

“The war will give us the land. The concepts of “ours” and “not ours” are peace concepts, only, and in war they lose their whole meaning”

I think it is clear to most of an independent mind that those ideas and comments for the bed rock of the Israeli “nation for 71 years now regardless” of what the rest of the nations of the world has said. You only have to look at the number of US vetoes at the UN over Israeli and their subject matter to realise that “There is something rotten in the state of” Israel and it’s policy not people.

frontncenter June 19, 2020 9:59 AM

Sneaky coward bullies like to keep playing their games because they think it’s funny. They think they’re untouchable and safe because they have money. But they’re wrong. Dead wrong. And the whole world will rejoice in dance and song. The other kids didn’t hate the coward bully because of his race. They hated him because they know the truth, and because he’s 2 face. And it isn’t just 1 or 2 of the schools together, it’s the whole damned district fed up with the nether. And not a single student on Earth will cry or care. No one has to feel sorry for coward bullies, when fair is fair.

They can try to pretend they don’t have it coming, but they know they do. And the teachers haven’t been sitting around doing nothing. They been watching too. The traitors & mascots will be expelled and the scum thrown out. And when the last bell rings, the sneaky coward bully will see what’s its about. All by himself Surrounded by nothing but pissed off victims who haven’t forgotten.

Play the game bully. Play the game. Because everyone else a right to do the same.

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