By Yazan al-Saadi
Al-Akhbar contacted the self-proclaimed “Saudi hacker” named 0xOmar through an email the hacker posted online. The hacker spoke about his motivation for carrying out these cyber-attacks, the group he belong to, why Israel is his target, his/her responses to Ayalon’s statements, and what he envisions as the endgame.
Apparently part of “the largest Wahhabi hacker group of Saudi Arabia” called Group-XP, 0xOmar posted a statement earlier this month on an Israeli sports website alleging to have hacked into a number of Israeli credit card companies. The hacker claimed to have obtained over 400,000 Israelis’ credit card information and proceeded to release them online with the aim of “making Israeli credit cards untrustable [sic] in the world.”
The security breach was confirmed by Israel David, CEO of Israel Credit Cards-Cal Ltd, and the Bank of Israel. However, Israeli officials insisted that the matter is under control and that only 14,000 valid credit cards have been compromised.
A second batch of 11,000 Israeli credit card details was released by 0xOmar, with a statement ridiculing Israeli claims. In this statement, the hacker added that he has “hacked much more than you can imagine” by penetrating into “more than 80 Israeli servers,” including about one million pieces of credit card data and information from “Israeli military contractor companies.”
Israeli news agencies claimed that an Israeli student identified a 19 year old Emirati in Mexico as the hacker on January 6.
This prompted a third response by 0xOmar, who mockingly denied that he/she had been tracked. The hacker taunted Israeli security agencies to find him/her as part of a game, “You have 2 weeks. If I come back and post another message after 2 weeks, simply you failed and I won the game. Game just started [you lost already, let’s give you another lesson that you are easily defeatable [sic]].”
Despite Israel’s own history of cyber-attacks, particularly with the Stuxnet virus used against Iran’s nuclear program, Danny Ayalon, the deputy foreign minister, stated in a speech on Saturday that this act, one of the worst data theft’s in the history of the Zionist state, is 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. Interestingly, Ayalon noted that Israel has not ruled out the possibility of there being a “more organized and sophisticated” group, rather “than a lone youth.”
As of yet, only one person has been charged with using the illicit credit card numbers. A 18-year-old Israeli bought a home cinema system, a Samsung Galaxy 2 cell phone, and a tablet computer using 0xOmar’s information.
0xOmar has now set-up a website where he releases about 200 Israeli credit card numbers on a daily basis. Moreover, the hacker has called on all Arab and Muslim hackers to form a cyber-army with the sole purposes of targeting Israel.
Yazan Al-Saadi: So far, what have you obtained and released?
0xOmar: I’ve hacked and released at first stage 400,000 pieces of Israeli data. After that, I saw some acts by Israeli self-called hackers, they made me unhappy. So to keep this war up, I’ve decided to release 200 working Israeli credit cards daily. Twice, I’ve released 200 more Israeli working credit cards. Everyone can purchase stuff on the Internet using those cards as I do. I’ll keep it going, everyday.
YS: What are you planning to release next?
0x: I’ll release 200 cards daily, after the credit cards, I’ll start leaking sensitive and hidden information I’ve extracted from Israeli servers. I’ll publish government emails, Jammer and Surveillance device makers data, etc.
YS: Is there any data that you are unwilling or unable to release?
0x: No, I’ll publish anything I have from Israel. I’m just looking for a good time and a good place to publish.
YS: What event or crime, in particular, involving Israel prompted you to finally decide to resist them in the cyber-world?
0x: Their Gaza War in 2008-2009 would be enough [to invoke [sic] a response], although the Israeli regime has a lot of genocide history I can’t count, like Sabra and Shatila massacre [in Lebanon]. Israel has passed borders, has passed red lines. Israel’s end is near. I want to start ending them in the Cyber World.
YS: You’ve termed Group-XP as “the largest Wahhabi hacker group of Saudi Arabia,” can you tell me more about the group’s history?
0x: We’ve hacked several sites in the past, sites and countries that have problems with True Islam. From now on, I as 0xOmar, decided to hack Israel alone. To hurt them and let them suffer. From here, I shout to all hackers again to join this movement.
YS: When did you become a hacker? Was there anything in particular that attracted you?
0x: I became a hacker when I saw how Israeli terrorists enjoy killing and arresting, I was not able to hurt Israel from Saudi, but I was able to reach my goals in cyber-world. I learned hacking fast and I added programming skills to it. Now I’ve reached this point and I fight for Islam and Palestine.
YS: You’ve mentioned in other interviews that your parents are supporting you. Is that still true? Do other people, your friends and relatives, know what you are doing?
0x: My relatives know my skills. They are not aware that I’m 0xOmar, but my parents know and they are proud of my attacks and they always support it.
YS: Danny Ayalon, the Israeli deputy foreign minister, has termed the act as “terrorism” and has vowed retaliation. He also alluded to the potentiality that you are not working alone. Any response?
0x: Danny Ayalon proved his stupidity multiple times. He just talks, “We’ll catch, We’ll do, We’ll reply, We We We We’ll.”
Enough said Danny, enough said. You say and I do, You talk and I hack, this is the reality. Wake up, you cannot even find me, I keep publishing and when you talked again, Gaza hackers taught you a lesson, hacked your Homepage and put a shoe on your face. We don’t have anything to say about people who just talk, we act!
YS: Are you afraid about being caught?
0x: NEVER! I don’t think about it even for a minute. How can I say to the world that I’m 100% sure that no one can find me? It’s simply impossible! It’s really simple in technical terms and in Internet connection. Do you know TOR? I’ve created somehow a bot network similar to TOR, but my bots are not aware that they are my victim. That’s all.
YS: Are you concerned that the Saudi authorities may stop you?
0x: It’s not possible, I told it in a lot of interviews. No one can find me in digital world, so no one can stop me.
YS: What do you make of the Israeli claims that you are either a 19-year old Emirati who works in Mexico, an individual in Dubai, or, in one claim, an Iranian agent?
0x: I’m none of them, I re-shout here, I’m from Riyadh, that’s all. They already interviewed a Mexican person who Israeli media said was me, he simply denied it. That’s simple. I’m not easy.
YS: I have read online that your actions are being called a “new form of resistance,” how do you feel about that? Do you see yourself as “resisting?”
0x: Yes! I am fighting for Palestinian children, I want to tell them, resist! Victory is in the near future. I could end up my hacking and keep doing what I was doing before this attack, but I’m here! I resist, I hack more, I call more hackers to join! This is the resistance! I sleep very well when I think I did something to make Palestinian children happy. It’s a different feeling I never had before. I call Muslim hackers to join me, they’ll sleep better at night, with better feelings.
YS: How far do you want things to go? What are the outcomes that you seek?
0x: To see Israeli authorities cry. The world will see how weak they are, they cannot find a 19yr old person in a country. Muslim hackers will unite against Israel and this is the best outcome! I’ll also publish Israeli sensitive data and want to see their reaction to that. As long as I see Israeli tears in reaction to what I do, I’ll do it forever!
YS: Do you have any ethical or moral concerns about negatively affecting the lives of Israeli citizens who may not be in the military? What about Palestinians, who remained despite the 1948 ethnic cleansing?
0x: When Israeli people who support their government to kill Palestinian people develop ethical concerns, I will too. When Israeli people kill those who drive cars over Palestinian children, I’ll get ethical effects [sic]. When Israeli people stop building houses and enlarging their Zionist regime borders daily, I’ll develop ethical concerns. When Israeli people feel sorry about their self for supporting their government and sending white phosphorus bombs to Gaza in 2008-2009 war, I’ll develop ethical concerns. When, when, when, when… How much more I should say?
YS: In various interviews, you’ve mentioned that Israel’s crimes of colonialism and occupation are the motivating factors behind your actions. Why is Israel your target and not other nations that are committing violations of international law?
0x: Because Israelis don’t even obey minimum [standards] of International law, they keep widening their occupation, they keep building houses, they keep attacking Palestinian children and women, they keep arresting Palestinian people, there is no location called Israel, it’s just occupied Palestine and all Muslims should help in any way they can to hurt this occupier, to take back Muslim lands. I can fight very well in the Cyber World, so I’ll fight. I invite all Muslim hackers from Turkish hackers to Arab Hackers to fight for their brothers in Palestine.
YS: What are your views regarding Saudi Arabia’s own domestic and foreign policy? Any thoughts on the demonstrations in the country and elsewhere in the region?
0x: I ask my country authorities to fight Israel also, I ask them to stop their business with Israel. I ask everyone in this world to stop their business with this illegal regime.
YS: Do you hold any position at all about the recent developments in Saudi Arabia, particularly in terms of the protests at the Eastern Province and the recent deaths of protesters?
0x: For now I have only enemy, that’s Israel. Entire Muslim world’s only problem is Israel. I don’t want to corrupt my mind with such issues. Let’s focus on our real enemy: Israel.
YS: Is there anything else you want people to keep in mind?
0x: People should know, Israel is really weaker than what you think. Zionist people are most cowardly creatures in this world. Let’s unite against Israel and make Palestinian innocent children who’s parents were arrested by these wild animals, happy. Let’s make Muslim world happy!