Israeli LGBTQ dating site deta

A participant, wearing rainbow-themed socks, stands next to a placard reading in Hebrew “the revolution is incomplete” during Tel Aviv’s, Israel’s annual Pride Parade amid the COVID-19 pandemic, on 28 June 2020. Photo: JACK GUEZ / AFP

Israeli LGBTQ dating site details released by hackers

Black Shadow had already released a batch of Atraf, Israeli LGBTQ dating site user profiles over the weekend

Israeli LGBTQ dating site deta

A participant, wearing rainbow-themed socks, stands next to a placard reading in Hebrew “the revolution is incomplete” during Tel Aviv’s, Israel’s annual Pride Parade amid the COVID-19 pandemic, on 28 June 2020. Photo: JACK GUEZ / AFP

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.

ISRAELI BLACK SHADOW GROUPS 

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.

ISRAELI LGBTQ HACKED 

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.

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HACK SEEN BEFORE 

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.

ISREAL LGBTQ EQUALITY 

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.

WORKING ‘INTENSELY’

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 some things that you wish were secret.”

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

CYBER ATTACK TREND 

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, ISREAL ‘SHADOW WAR’ 

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. 

© Agence France-Presse