Israel Hit By ‘Over 44m Hack Attacks’ Amidst Hamas Conflict

Israel is claiming government websites have been hit by over 44 million hacking attempts since Wednesday when violence erupted in the region.

Israel has been firing rockets into Gaza, aiming to take out key Hamas officials and army personnel, whilst Hamas has been on the offensive too. It is believed Israel is readying ground troops to enter Gaza.

The Internet has turned into a battleground for the two sides as well, as Israel’s finance minister Yuval Steinitz said only one hacking attempt out of millions was successful, although he did not say which one. Normally, there are only a few hundred attempts each day, according to officials.

Israel Hamas conflict a cyber war too?

A massive ten million attempts have been made on the site of Israel’s president, according to Reuters, whilst seven million tried to crack into or disrupt the Foreign Ministry website.

A government spokesperson said the majority of attacks emanated from Israel and Palestine.

“The war is taking place on three fronts. The first is physical, the second is on the world of social networks and the third is cyber,” said Carmela Avner, Israel’s chief information officer.

Anonymous has been part of that cyber war. It has launched a host of attacks on various Israeli websites and claimed to have defaced over 650 different sites.

“When the government of Israel publicly threatened to sever all Internet and other telecommunications into and out of Gaza they crossed a line in the sand,” a statement from the group read. “Do NOT shut down the Internet into the “Occupied Territories”, and cease and desist from your terror upon the innocent people of Palestine or you will know the full and unbridled wrath of Anonymous.”

One defacement seen by TechWeekEurope, not one claimed by Anonymous, showed an image of a burning Israel flag with images of what appeared to be injured Palestinian children.

The war of words between Israel and Hamas has made its way onto Twitter as well, with the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) particularly open about its military operation. The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, has also attacked Israel for its aggression.

As for the situation in Tel Aviv itself, TechWeekEurope spoke to security specialists Lacoon Security, who said late on Friday that other than short sirens, Tel Aviv had returned to its weekend routine. “We’re all hoping it remains like that and things calm down as well for all those affected.”

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Thomas Brewster

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe's Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

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