Anonymous launches massive cyber assault on Israel

April 8th, 2013

Published on Russia Today RT, April 7, 2013.

Hacktivist group Anonymous has launched a second massive cyber attack against Israel, dubbed #OpIsrael. The collective threatens to “disrupt and erase Israel from cyberspace” in protest over its mistreatment of Palestinians. Dozens of Israeli websites were unavailable as of early Sunday … //

… On Friday, Israeli radio reported that scores of large organizations had closed their websites to shield them from hacker attacks.

Despite the impending threat, Lior Tabansky, a fellow at the Yuval Ne’eman Workshop for Science, Technology, and Security of Tel Aviv University, told the Times of Israel that distributed denial of service (DDos) attacks, which work by overwhelming targeted servers with traffic which stems from multiple systems, are the only tool at the hackers’ disposal.

“Unless they have names and passwords, [DDoS] is really their only attack strategy. Unfortunately, there is little a company can do to stop it, but it is not the major cyber-threat many people, especially in the media, believe it to be. It’s more of an annoyance, and if they do manage to intimidate sites into submission, the victory will be one of public relations.”

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

“So far it is as was expected, there is hardly any real damage,” Ben Yisrael indicated. “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 of time. It wants to create noise in the media about issues that are close to its heart.”

However, other experts have warned that the hackers may attempt to deploy malware such as “Trojan horses”, which can steal information and harm host computer systems.

Meanwhile, an official from the Hamas movement praised the attack.

“God bless the minds and the efforts of the soldiers of the electronic battle,” Ihab Al- Ghussian, Gaza’s chief government spokesman, wrote on his official Facebook page, AP reported.

Anonymous launched the first ‘OpIsrael’ cyber-attacks in November 2012 during Operation Pillar of Defense, an eight day Israeli Defense Force (IDF) incursion into the Gaza s trip.

Some 700 Israeli website suffered repeated DDos attacks, which targeted high-profile government systems such as the Foreign Ministry, the Bank of Jerusalem, the Israeli Defence Ministry, the IDF blog, and the Israeli President’s official website.

The Israeli Finance Ministry reported an estimated 44 million unique attacks on government websites over a four day period.

Following ‘OpIsrael,’ Anonymous posted the online personal data of 5,000 Israeli officials, including names, ID numbers and personal emails.

The group also took part in an attack in which the details of some 600,000 users of the popular Israeli email service Walla were released online.
(full text, 5 pictures and many comments).

Links:

Bangladesh protesters demand blasphemy law: Hundreds of thousands of marchers call for law that would include death penalty for bloggers who they say insult Islam, watch the video on AlJazeera, 1.55 min, April 7, 2013;

UN warns of humanitarian crisis in CAR: World body says country needs urgent food and medical help as coup leaders struggle to run government, watch the video on AlJazeera, 2.23 min, April 7, 2013 (CAR on en.wikipedia);

Diminishing ray of hope: We explore how the demand for manta gill plates is threatening the existence of one of the most graceful marine species, watch the video on AlJazeera, 25.04 min, April 2, 2013: Marine biologist Daniel Fernando has been surveying Sri Lanka’s fishing industry for over two years. Today, he is in the western coastal town of Negombo, at one of the country’s busiest fish markets. He is passionate about saving manta and mobula rays from extinction. Fernando carefully examines a pile of rays on the pier, collecting DNA samples for population studies …;

On-line forum on the Third Phase of the World Programme for Human Rights Education
, on Human Rights Education Association HEAR.org, February 15, 2013.

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