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updated 1/25/2012 12:15:18 PM ET 2012-01-25T17:15:18

An Israeli hacker calling himself Hannibal stole and exposed the Facebook login credentials of 85,000 Arabs earlier this week. It's the latest retaliatory strike in a politically motivated battle between Israeli and Arab hackers that's been going strong since the beginning of the month.

Hannibal posted 20,000 Facebook users' email addresses and passwords of what he called "helpless Arabs" on Sunday (Jan. 15); the next day, he posted 30,000, followed by 10,000 on Tuesday and 25,000 on Wednesday, ZDNet reported. Hannibal posted the credentials on Pastebin, but his post has since been taken down.

In the post, Hannibal boasted of having 30 million emails, and said he would post 2,000 to 100,000 every day, depending "on my mood."

In keeping with the theme of the ongoing hacker battle, which began Jan. 3 when a Saudi Arabian hacker named 0xOmar posted 15,000 Israelis' credit card numbers, Hannibal announced the latest tactical strike with a political message.

"A warning to the State of Iran and Saudi Arabia," Hannibal wrote. "I have 10 million bank accounts of the countries of Iran and Saudi Arab [sic]. If Iran continues to threaten Israel and already this week I will publish the private bank accounts and thus make them billions of dollars in damages estimated."

A post on the following day, Jan. 16, read, "State of Israel, not to worry, you're in the hands of the world's best hacker that I am. I will continue to support the government of Israel will continue to attack the Arab countries.  In addition, I received thousands of emails helpless Arabs, who are begging me to stop publishing the Facebook accounts because it violates their browsing experience."

Facebook sprung into action, automatically locking accounts that were exposed and forcing users to reset their passwords.

Hannibal's handiwork comes amidst a turf war of sorts between Arab and Israeli hackers that, following 0xOmar's initial action, escalated quickly, with Arab hackers hitting the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and El Al Airlines websites, and another Israeli hacking group, IDF-Team, knocking the Saudi Stock Exchange and the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange offline.

© 2012 SecurityNewsDaily. All rights reserved

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