“Ex-Mossad” group threatened South Africa cyberattack, leaks show

South Africa was threatened with a serious cyberattack from people claiming to be ex-Mossad hackers, according to documents included in the “spy cables” cache that was recently leaked to Al Jazeera.

The cache includes communications between South Africa’s State Security Agency (SSA) and its counterparts around the world, including the CIA and Israel’s Mossad. The revelations are particularly embarrassing for the South Africans, but sometimes also for those overseas, such as the Israelis.

So far, none of the revelations have been particularly tech-related (apart from the fact that the leak was digital), but on Tuesday Al Jazeera reported on a 2012 SSA reference to the “ex-Mossad” threat, which took place in the context of a pro-Palestinian boycott and sanctions campaign that was underway in South Africa and elsewhere.

The people in question apparently hand-delivered a letter to the South African financy ministry, threatening to attack the country’s banking and financial sector if the government did not shut down the anti-Israel campaign in South Africa within 30 days and remove and prosecute certain people linked with the campaign.

They claimed to have been partly responsible for the Stuxnet worm that sabotaged Iranian uranium enrichment facilities about five years ago – widely believed to be the work of the Americans and Israelis – and the associated Flame malware that was used to spy on targets in the Middle East. The group said they still had access to Mossad technologies and resources.

There’s no evidence of the attack having taken place, or of the government cracking down on the boycott campaign, which enjoyed the sympathy of many high-level figures in the country. In the document, the SSA said the Directorate of Priority Crime Investigation had looked into the letter’s authenticity, but the outcome of that probe was unknown.

Moovit, the Waze of public transit, rakes in another $50M

The meteoric rise of Waze was a huge success story for the Israeli tech scene, and the country is now aiming to repeat that success with another crowdsourced transportation company – this one focused on public transit rather than individual drivers. Moovit has raised a $50 million Series C round, bringing its total funding to $82 million.

Nokia Growth Partners, BMW i Ventures, Keolis, Bernard Arnault Group, and Vaizra Investments all participated in the round along with existing investors BRM Group, Gemini Partners and Sequoia Capital.


Like Waze, Moovit relies on its community of commuters to report on the state of a city’s bus, train, metro and trams systems in real-time. Its iOS, iPhone and Windows apps track users as they navigate the transit system and queries them on specific conditions; for example, how crowded a train car or bus stop is. The techniques it uses are very similar to accident and traffic reporting features on Waze. That not only gives Moovit commuters an idea about delays and possible alternatives to their regular routes, it lets Moovit finely tune its mapping and navigation services for people trying to get where they’re going by public transit.

When we last checked in with Moovit a year ago, it had 3 million members in its crowdsourcing community but in 13 months its grown to 15 million in 500 cities spread through 45 countries.

Rdio brings its Spotify competitor to 20 more countries

Rdio launched its music subscription service in 20 additional countries late Monday, bringing the total number of countries Rdio is available in now to 51. The new markets include 13 Latin American countries, Israel, South Africa, the Dominican Republic and a few smaller countries in Europe. The expansion could give Rdio a chance to leapfrog Spotify in some of these markets: The bigger competitor is thus far only available in 28 countries.