The tit for tat between pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel hackers escalated at the weekend after a hacker called Hannibal claimed to have leaked the Facebook login details of "100,000 Arabs".
Pro-Israel Hannibal warned on 13 January that he had access to “about 30 million e-mail [accounts] of Arabs”, adding that he would leak their login credentials over the next 55 years in retaliation for previous "Arab" hacks of Israeli websites. He then released, via Pastebin, what he claimed to be the login details of close to 85,000 Facebook accounts, although the actual figure appears to be far less.
The text file links to what's claimed to be 100,000 Facebook logins details spread across 14 file-sharing sites.
The hacker, who modestly reckons that people of the Jewish nation named him “general of Israel's hackers”, then unexpectedly called a halt to the "cyber war” that has flared in the virtual Middle East in recent weeks.
“Israeli hackers, stop! Cyber war stops until further notice I will post again if they attack the State of Israel,” he wrote. “If they appear again, I again come to save Israel. Trust me. I'll always be around.”
This particular cyber-spat kicked off at the start of January, when hacker OxOmar - who said he belongs to Saudi hacking gang Group-XP - claimed to have leaked the banking details of 400,000 Israelis.
Israel's banks hit back, however, arguing that most of the data was either out-of-date or duplicate and that only 14,000 card records were exposed.
Israeli deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon then drew the ire of Anonymous and others by comparing the hack to an act of terrorism and warning that there would be retaliatory action.