Political Group Denies Hacking Amazon.com
Hackers broke into the Amazon Invite system and distributed fake advertisement of Israeli hard-line group SamsonBlinded.org designed to cause negative publicity for the group
April 4, 2006
On April 1, Amazon sent a message to possibly hundreds of thousands of its customers calling attention to a controversial book, Samson Blinded: A Machiavellian Perspective on the Middle East Conflict, and offering free copies. The message, ostensibly an advertisement, was worded to irritate the readers.
Hackers tricked Amazon into sending the message using scarcely protected Invite feature, intended for communication between Amazon customers. Within hours, annoyed customers flooded Amazon's page, selling the book with negative reviews. Amazon promptly restricted the Invite functionality.
The author, anonymous politician known as Obadiah Shoher, believes anti-Semitic hackers staged the incident to cause negative publicity in response to recent cyberattacks reportedly by his followers on Neo-Nazi websites. Shoher wrote in the book, "The targets should include insurgent groups' official websites but also forums, chat rooms, secondary Islamist support sites, and so on. Security services should log the IP addresses of everyone who visits those sites and track them down, even subpoena them through the local police."
The group samsonblinded.org, which formed around Shoher's manifesto, announces it will honor the requests for free book copies from bloggers and activists resulting from the Amazon breach.
The book advocates realpolitik measures of antiterrorism and Israeli survival. Google earlier banned the website http://www.SamsonBlinded.org from its advertising program for "unacceptable content."