כ״ד בניסן ה׳תשע״ג (April 4, 2013)
‘Hacktivist Anonymous,’ a group of international hackers, has promised to ‘erase Israel from the internet’ in a coordinated attack against the country on April 7, which this year will be the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The planned assault is part of hacktivist group Anonymous’s ongoing #OpIsrael campaign, which was launched in March in a show of solidarity with the Palestinians. As part of the campaign, Anonymous — which has since been joined by several other hacktivist groups including Sector404 and RedHack — said that on April 7 that it would “launch a coordinated, massive cyberattack on Israeli targets with the intent of erasing Israel from the Internet.”
Many more known hacktivists, notorious for carrying out state-targeted attacks, are supporting the campaign. One hacking team told The Hackers Post website their reason for participation; “Israel isn’t stopping human rights violations. It’s to show solidarity with newly recognized Palestinian state.”
Israel has taken the threats seriously, especially since several state-run websites have already been affected, subsequently, defensive preparations are already underway.
Officer Ben Avi, Director of online website Accessible Government, told Israeli news source Haaretz, “what distinguishes this plan when compared to previous attacks is that it really seems to be organized by Anonymous-affiliated groups from around the world in what looks like a joining of forces.”
The first #OpIsrael cyber-attacks were launched by the hacktivist group during Israeli’s Pillar of Defense in November 2012.
Some 700 Israeli websites have already fallen victim to repeated cyber-attacks, including high-profile government systems such as the Foreign Ministry and the Israeli President’s official website.
The Israeli Finance Ministry reported an estimated 44 million unique attacks on government websites, according to online media source RT last Wednesday.
The Hacktivist group has also posted personal data of 5000 Israeli officials, containing names, I.D. numbers and personal emails. (via AL Arabiya)
Waiting for the National Cyber Bureau to act
A cyberattack can cripple an entire nation; that much, we already know. The practice of e-government makes the state more vulnerable to cyberattacks; downing a bank’s website can interfere with the financial market and infecting a popular news website with a Trojan horse can affect all of its readers’ computers, mirror passwords and conduct industrial espionage.
It is hard to gauge the scope of the cyberattack planned for April 7, but we already know that dozens, if not hundreds of hackers will take part in the coordinated assault, orchestrated by Anonymous. Those hackers will undoubtedly employ tens of thousands of computerized robots that will try simultaneously to disrupt Israel’s Internet.
This problem has to be addressed, and not by putting up more and more firewalls. Gearing for a cyberattack does little to prevent one, and taking computerized systems offline implies helplessness.
We also have to be able to tell cyberattacks apart from information security threats, since each requires different protection. In a country like Israel, where the Internet is a highly sensitive nerve, this threat has to be properly assessed, analyzed and thwarted. Cyber protection has to be comprehensive on every level and risk assessment should be conducted for every source code, domain and application, to ensure they meet the various security challenges they face. There is no shame in admitting when we are wrong.
Unfortunately, the Israel National Cyber Bureau has been virtually silent on the matter so far, and has yet to assume a significant role in better educating the public on the nature of cyber threats.
We know that the National Cyber Bureau exists and we know that it employs an elite force that oversees operations whose details best remain under wraps. We can probably rely on them, but there is no such thing as total security. (via Ilan Gattegno, Israel HaYom)
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