Turkish Hacking Organization Hacks Accounts Of Israeli Politician, American And European Journalists; Praises Turkish President

January 25, 2018

From the website of AyYıldız Tim ("MoonStar Team"): "From now on, independence or death!"

On January 20, 2018, the Turkish hacking organization AyYıldız Tim ("MoonStar Team") hacked the Twitter account of Dr. Dore Gold, who is the former director-general of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as current Israel ambassador to the United Nations and president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.[1]

Part Of The Organization's Mission Is To "Bring The Spiritual Identity Of The Turkish Republic State To The Place It Deserves Among The Nations Of The World By Carrying Out Counter-Propaganda Operations"

The official website of AyYıldız Tim says that the organization was founded in 2002.[2] The website's "Mission And Vision" page states that part of the organization's mission is to "bring the spiritual identity of the Turkish Republic State to the place it deserves among the nations of the world by carrying out counter-propaganda operations," as well as to protect Turkish government websites from cyberattacks.[3] The website also links to the organization's social media pages, which have a sizeable following. The organization's Instagram page has 9,750 posts and over 130,000 followers.[4] Its Facebook page has over 480,000 "likes."[5] Its YouTube channel has over 27,000 subscribers.[6] The main website recently linked to a Twitter account that had been suspended, but now links to a Twitter account opened in January 2018. The bio section of this recently opened account indicates that those running it are located in Yenimahalle, a neighborhood in Ankara, Turkey.[7]

AyYıldız Tim has carried out a number of cyberattacks. In July 2013, the organization, in support of the autonomous East Turkestan region of China, attacked websites belonging to the Chinese government.[8] In July 2014, the organization hacked websites belonging to Coca Cola,[9] as well as 137 Israeli websites.[10] In August 2014, the Turkish press reported that the organization hacked Israel's Iron Dome defense system.[11] Photos on its Instagram page show that in the past several weeks alone the organization has hacked: the Facebook page of the American semi-monthly editorial magazine National Review; the Twitter accounts of the digital media non-profit Prager University, American former law enforcement official David Alexander Clarke Jr., American journalist James Rosen, American journalist Clyde Haberman, American television journalist Brit Hume, American commentator Greta Van Susteren, Iranian-American academic Vali Nasr, and editor-in-chief of the German-language weekly news magazine Der Spiegel Klaus Brinkbäumer, among others.

Many Hacked Accounts Posted Messages Praising Turkey And Turkish President Recep Tayyip ErdoÄŸan

Many hacked accounts posted messages praising Turkey and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. For example, when AyYıldız Tim hacked, on January 13, 2018, the Twitter account of Der Spiegel editor-in-chief Klaus Brinkbäumer, AyYıldız Tim tweeted from his account in Turkish and German: "We apologize to the Turkish State and to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for the news that we have made [published] up to today!" Photos of a Turkish flag and of President Erdoğan with his hand over his heart accompanied the message. A few hours later, Der Spiegel tweeted: "The Twitter account of our editor-in-chief Klaus Brinkbäumer was hacked. The tweet and photo that went along with it were not his. We are looking into the matter."[12]

AyYıldız Tim hacked the Twitter account of Der Spiegel editor-in-chief Klaus Brinkbäumer.

[1] Jpost.com, January 21, 2018. [2] Ayyildiz.org, accessed January 22, 2018. [3] Ayyildiz.org/misyon-vizyon.html, accessed January 25, 2018. [4] Instagram.com/ayyildiztim.com.tr, accessed January 25, 2018. [5] Facebook.com/AyyildizTim1919, accessed January 25, 2018. [6] Youtube.com/channel/UCssA4HTPx_EC_UXOW9aDj-Q, accessed January 25, 2018. [7] Twitter.com/AyyildizTimComT, accessed January 25, 2018. [8] Star.com.tr, July 16, 2013. [9] Aksam.com.tr, July 21, 2014. [10] Sabah.com.tr, July 27, 2014. [11] Ensonhaber.com, August 7, 2014. [12] Sozcu.com.tr, January 14, 2018.

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