Cyber attack blamed on Hamas after Eurovision semi-final webcast hacked with fake missile warning
Hackers successfully compromised an Israeli webcast of the first Eurovision semi-final, which was interrupted to show a fake missile alert in host city Tel Aviv.
The cyberattack took place on Tuesday on the website of the national broadcaster Kan, which was interrupted on Tuesday evening with a fake alert from Israel’s army telling of an impending missile attack.
Kan blamed terrorist group Hamas for the attack, and it comes after Israel last week carried out a military airstrike in response to an attempted Hamas cyber attack.
It is thought to be the first time that a nation-state had retaliated with physical military action in real time against a cyber attack.
The Israel Defense Force (IDF) said last week that it had “removed” the building where “HamasCyberHQ.exe” had been based.
That airstrike came after Hamas had fired roughly 700 rockets into Israel, and four Israelis and 25 Palestinians were killed during the fighting.
But it seems that the cyber operations of Hamas may not have affected so badly by the Israeli airstrike after its hackers were reportedly able to penetrate the website of Israel’s national broadcaster.
The website was streaming the first Eurovision semi-final when viewers saw a fake warning from Israel’s army about a fictitious attack on Tel Aviv, accompanied by an animated explosions in a video and the sound of air raid sirens.
Messages such as: “Risk of Missile Attack, Please Take Shelter” and: “Israel is NOT Safe. You Will See!” appeared on the screen.
The attack was looped for about ten minutes on the webcast, but the TV broadcast was not affected.
“We know that at a certain stage there was an attempt, apparently by Hamas, to commandeer our digital broadcast,” the chief executive of Kan, Eldad Koblenz, was quoted by the Guardian newspaper as telling Israel’s Army Radio.
“But I am happy to say that within a few minutes we managed to assume control over this phenomenon,” Koblenz reportedly added.
The Eurovision international music event is being hosted in Tel Aviv this year.
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