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Israel: Iranian hackers attack servers of LGTBQ dating site

According to media reports, hackers have threatened to publish data from the Israeli LGBTQ dating site Atraf if the operators do not pay the equivalent of around 870,000 euros. “Have to do with an Iranian cyber terrorist incident,” Israeli television quoted from a statement by the site operator on Sunday.

They are working on offering the service again, but only with comprehensive security – including resetting the passwords of all users. LGTBQ is the English abbreviation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and queer. Atraf did not initially respond to such inquiries.

According to Israeli media reports, the hacker group “Black Shadow” is alleged to consist of Iranian criminals. Iran and Israel are archenemies. Since the hackers are extorting ransom, Israeli security experts do not necessarily assume a state-controlled cyber attack, reports the Jerusalem Post. A politically motivated hacker attack from Iran would rather have the Israeli infrastructure in its sights. Black Shadow attacked and blackmailed an Israeli auto insurer and financial company back in late 2020.

In addition to Atraf, other Israeli companies such as two public transport companies and a children’s museum were affected by the hacker attack, according to media reports according to the Times of Israel also use the server operator Cyberserve. The hackers have already published sensitive data. For example, homosexual users of Atraf worried that they would be unintentionally outed. Several people in the network also reported about their HIV infection.

On a Telegram channel called Black Shadow, it was said that the Atraf database contained the data of around one million users. If the operators pay one million dollars (around 870,000 euros) within 48 hours, the data would not be published.

On Sunday, Iran blamed its political arch enemies Israel and the USA for a cyber attack on the nationwide gas station network. “The investigations are still ongoing, but we believe that the Americans and the Israelis are definitely behind it,” said the Iranian head of the cyber security department, according to media reports. The cyber attack on the payment system of the petrol stations caused long queues and chaos in the capital Tehran and other cities on Tuesday. (with material from dpa) /


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