Anti-Israeli Hackers Failing To Cause Major Cyber-Disruption

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JERUSALEM (AP) — A weekend cyberattack campaign targeting Israeli government websites failed to cause serious disruption, officials said Sunday. The attacks followed warnings in the name of the hacking group Anonymous that it was launching a massive attack.

Yitzhak Ben Yisrael, of the government’s National Cyber Bureau, said hackers had mostly failed to shut down key sites.

“So far it is as was expected, there is hardly any real damage,” Ben Yisrael said. “Anonymous doesn’t have the skills to damage the country’s vital infrastructure. And if that was its intention, then it wouldn’t have announced the attack ahead of time. It wants to create noise in the media about issues that are close to its heart,” he said.

Posters using the name of the hacking group Anonymous had warned they would launch a massive attack on Israeli sites in a strike they called #OpIsrael starting April 7.

Israel’s Bureau of Statistics was down on Sunday morning but it was unclear if it was hacked. Media said the sites of the Defense and Education Ministry as well as banks had come under attack the night before but they were mostly repelled.

Israeli sites reported brief cyberattacks on the stock market website  and the Finance Ministry website Saturday night. But the two institutions denied the reports.

Israeli media said small businesses had been targeted, and some websites’ homepages were replaced by anti-Israel slogans. In retaliation, Israeli activists hacked sites of radical Islamist groups and splashed them with pro-Israel messages, media said.

Shlomi Dolev, an expert on network security and cryptography at Ben Gurion University, said attacks of this kind will likely become more common. “It is a good test for our defense systems and we will know better how to deal with more serious threats in the future,” he said.  (via AP, read more here)

(Photo credit: screenshot, Anonymous’ Op-Israel banner)


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