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Hacking comparable to terrorist operation, says Israeli minister Danny Ayalon

Publishing the hacked credit card details of thousands of Israelis is comparable to a terrorist operation and must be treated as such, says Israeli deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon.

Publishing the hacked credit card details of thousands of Israelis is comparable to a terrorist operation and must be treated as such, according to Israeli deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon.

A 19-year-old hacker named OxOmar is believed to be responsible for publishing the details after breaking into the companies responsible for maintaining the information, according to the BBC.

"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," said Danny Ayalon.

Israel has not yet ruled out the possibility that the hacking was carried out by a group more organised and sophisticated than a lone youth, he added.  

Some reports say OxOmar is Saudi Arabian. Others claim he is a citizen of the United Arab Emirates studying and working in Mexico, according to Reuters.

An Ayalon aide said Israel was aware of the report that OxOmar may be in Mexico, but had not yet requested help from the Mexican authorities.

Israeli credit card companies have dismissed the financial damage as minimal, but security experts have expressed concern about the potential use of stolen information by Israel’s enemies.

Islamist group Hamas has described OxOmar's actions as "a new form of resistance". Hamas urged Arab youth to use all means available in the virtual space to “confront Israeli crimes", according to reports.

IT security firm Imperva said the hacking created opportunities for attackers to lure people trying to find out if their details had been compromised or reinstate their credit card accounts into clicking on malicious links or giving up personal information.

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