November 01, 2023

From Russia with Hate


From Russia with Hate
"Hamas" grafitti. Wikimedia Commons.

A recent Meduza report described how a number of websites associated with the Palestinian political and military organization Hamas use Russian-based web hosting platforms.

Insikt Group, the threat intelligence research arm of US-based cybersecurity company Recorded Future, reported that the website "alqassam.ps" was moved on October 11 to Russian web hosting service VDSina, operated by Moscow-based company Hosting Technology LTD. The website in question relates to Al-Qassam Brigades, the militant wing of Hamas. Later, the site was moved to hosts in Lebanon and Panama. Insikt Group suggests that the constant moving of hosting services is an attempt to evade takedowns and denial-of-service (DoS) attacks by third parties.

Furthermore, Meduza reported that, according to Russian-language Israeli volunteer news service Mesusah, the main Hamas website "hamas.ps" was also recently hosted by VDSina. Mesusah also reported that Hamas had used another Russian web infrastructure provider, Selectel. Selectel board chairman Lev Binzumovich Leviev responded quickly, shutting down the relevant domains and noting that Hamas had only used their free DNS services.

Insikt Group also reported on recent activity in Hamas Telegram channels, where a mobile app that communicates with the "alqassam.ps" website has been propagated. Their report notes a web infrastructure link between Hamas websites and Iran, which they observed earlier in May 2023. One domain name redirecting to the "alqassam.ps" website, "nikanps.top," contained subdomains with Farsi words and the word "Iran."

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