Hezbollah Aftermath – Google Earth and Sky News: Psychological warfare Online [update #3]

with the recent hezbollah-israel conflict in south lebanon and the north of israel, quite a bit of online information warfare activity is a foot.

most of the online attacks and defacements are proceeding as usual, with one side’s unaffiliated hackers attacking the other and the other side’s unaffiliated hackers retaliating.

some of the more interesting information warfare going on is actually on the psychological warfare front – online on the internet.

israel seems to be rather behind and not really catching up, utilizing its’ state department on the diplomatic front to lobby support around the world. hezbollah seems more interested in affecting public opinion and psychological stress among the israeli population itself, mostly by the speeches of their leader.

hezbollah’s supporters, however, utilize the internet for online psychological warfare campaigns. this by itself makes for a very interesting study.

as the internet is used, this is psychological warfare by the use of information warfare.

two good examples are google earth and sky news.

looking at lebanon in google earth, one will quickly find pictures and comments on sites which were bombarded by the israeli forces. this is quite impressive. you can find pictures of downed buildings and what-not.

israeli citizens seem to be catching up and uploading pictures of their own to google earth on locations in israel which have been damaged.
israel though seems to be behind, as google earth seems to be full of pro-palestinian and general political propaganda and links if you go and look at locations of interest to this region there.

many online news outlets recently published online polls, asking people what their take on the middle-east situation is. on sky news, this poll does not seem to be protected and the score right now seems to go to the palestinian side, rising at hundreds of votes per minute.

apparently sky news does not check for multiple votes from the same ip address. their defenses are client-based, so one does not even have to use compromised hosts such as proxies or bots (a botnet) to manipulate the score.

i expect unaffiliated israeli hackers will soon start attacking back. this conflict is soon becoming very interesting.

other posts on this subject:
gaza electronic aftermath – hacker wars
team evil incident (cyber-terrorism defacement analysis and response)

the score is now pro-israeli.

middle east: are israel’s actions justified?

* yes 68.69% (544,951 votes)
* no 31.30% (248,373 votes)

update #2:

it seems like the two sides are nullifying each other. the sky news poll seems to be aligned with the cnn poll right now.

update #3:
regular polls range at about 20k voters:

g8 summit: what’s the key issue?

* middle east 25.76% (6,251 votes)
* global poverty 19.51% (4,736 votes)
* climate change 54.71% (13,276 votes)

is 62 too old to become a mum?

* yes 91.78% (14,004 votes)
* no 8.21% (1,253 votes)

gadi evron,

  • Roberto

    Seems to me that you are quite un-aware of the fact that Google Earth utilizes the satellite map database inheritated after the acquisition of Keyhole.com, the company originally behind the project.
    Such maps are from 1 to 5 years old, therefore it’s not possible to visualize the damage caused by the Israeli forces in the recent attacks against Lebanon.

    Seems to me that your news has been written just to make use of words such “psyop”, “warfare”, “cyberwar” which are good for building up fancy articles…

    Check your sources next time, before writing pointless rants

  • sunshine

    Google Earth is a community. Comments, links, etc.

  • http://www.BeyondSecurity.com aviram

    roberto – you might not be aware of it, but it’s possible for users to create ‘overlays’ that show an information layer on top of the google earth imagery. naturally, the shots themselves don’t show the actual damage, but the comments highlight where the attacks were and what the damages are.
    the pictures of downed buildings were, as sunshine wrote, added by other people.

  • Mohammad Al-Ubaydli

    Just curious by the assumptions – polls aside, you said that on Google Earth “Israel seems to be rather behind and not really catching up”… Don’t you think a possible explanation might be that Israel has more weapons and have actually destroyed more buildings than Hizbollah did?

    I’m not saying they have, I’m just saying it sounds like you are not even considering this theory, and just assuming that the mismatch is due to an imbalance of propaganda.

  • sunshine

    Please let us not get into politics. I am talking of online activity only. I doubt you can guess my own opinions.

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  • Dyke Vondale Davis

    The techno language and tools being used by both sides to progandize the Israeli, Hezbullan and Palestinian as well as Arab/Islamist positions in the geopolitical arena is quite impressive. Yet, very sad and quite damaging to all sides of the issues. This is because truth is subjected to the back seat while psycho-ideological intellectual manipulation and mental masturbation mimics reality.
    Universial Trueism is very simple and follows timeless principles and laws that are the bread of all advance civilizations. Advanced technology is worthless if it is used to destroy other cultures and hide or misrepresent the common connections that all human life must have to survive in any part of the world. State or organizationally supported hackers are in reality terrorist and techno gangsters employed to distort rational solutions to distorted political and racial issues that are killing our world innocent and irrapairably damaging our world environment and cultural heritage as a human species.
    There should be war crimes charges in the international courts that track and bring to justice any state or individual that causes death or destruction by use of international communication technology. Knowledge and techno skills are worthy and noble achievements, yet without moral or spiritual fortitude these advanced skills are the weapons of monsters, nitwits and fools.