Internet hacking is not unknown by any means but the latest round of cyber-attacks have put us all on notice that the closed world of hackers has opened up on all of us with potentially devastating consequences. According to Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, "Cyberspace is the new battleground and there too we will not be defeated. We will not be intimidated, threatened or silenced," he said.

Be that as it may, the Saudi hacker 0x Omar and the hacking group Nightmare, have shown us just how vulnerable we are to individuals operating thousands of miles away. Revenge was swift as Hannibal and a group called the IDF Team, claiming to be representing Israel, released 100,000 usernames and passwords supposedly for Arabs on Facebook and took down several websites in Arab countries. It later turned out that many of the Facebook usernames and passwords were for people who were in no way connected with the Middle East. In fact the idea that these cyber warriors are operating on behalf of anyone is, in my opinion, nonsense.

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What the latest spate of hacking shows is just how vulnerable both individuals and massive institutions are to concerted attack. It is now crystal clear just how much power is possessed by those few people who know how to cut to the heart of the online systems that we depend on so much. These cyber-attacks were launched at individuals and businesses rather than states, the release of tens of thousands of Israelis'' credit card details caused significant disruption to the lives of Israelis and Hannibal’s revenge attack on Facebook caused disruption to 100,000 people in a single blow.

The means of waging war have changed, that became clear with the Stuxnet virus released on the Iranian nuclear program, if not before. Though with Stuxnet the illusion of safety was maintained by the fact that this was an attack launched at one state by (presumably) another state or states. While this was the case we could all watch from the side lines as though hacking were a spectator sport, but now it is has gotten personal. The people who are going to be the victims of this tit for tat hacking war are innocent people hit at random. These ‘cyberwarriors’ are going head to head in a war that is more about showing off their computer skills to one another than actual events in the Middle East, and it has only just begun.


Recently, the Ha''aretz Hebrew site was overwelmed by hackers, the pro-Palestinian group Anonymous took responsibility on Twitter according to Ha''aretz English edition.

The Sheba and Assouta Medical Centre''s sites were also brought down and though both sites were brought back online it is unclear what damage has been done/information stolen from patient''s files during the attack.

The website of the Israel Festival was also hacked and the content replaced, some excerpts of the message left by the hacker (according to Google Translate) says the following:

"This Site Hacked By Watchful Eye Hacker, Death For Israel, death to Israel This Site Hacked By Watchful Eye Hacker"

Dedicate these breakthroughs to everyone who contributed to my education and especially to my brothers in the team Dz-SeC Team and Gaza Hacker Team and HacKErS HoMe and web spiders professionalism and a team v4-team and Sec4ever Team and I apologize if I did not mention anyone as Ahidiha to all lovers and friends and to all Arabs and Muslims ..."

These coordinated attacks make it clear that those looking to bring down Israeli sites are not discriminating between the left and the right wing of society nor military institutions and civilian ones. Last time Israeli sites were attacked, sites in Saudi Arabia were attacked by Israeli hackers in retaliation.

The only question that remains is, who will be targeted next?

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