A limited cyber attack was launched on Israeli websites on Sunday, as hackers
affiliated with the Anonymous group succeeded in leaking databases of small
websites but failed to cause significant disruption. Major government websites
remained functional throughout the day.
The Avnet information security
company, which set up a situation room to monitor the attack throughout Sunday,
said the small websites that were hacked had not taken basic security
It added that several distributed denial of service (DDOS)
attacks were launched on government websites, but that the sites withstood the
attempts to flood their servers.
The attackers, who struck on the eve of
Holocaust Remembrance Day, particularly targeted the website of Yad Vashem with
“a fairly massive attack,” Ronni Becher, head of the cyber attack section at
Nevertheless, Yad Vashem’s website remained
“It seems that these are simply quite basic attacks, that are not
unusual in their complexity...and which suit amateur children,” he
The Jerusalem Post, too, successfully managed to thwart attempts
Sunday to hack its website. “There was a concerted and pointed attempt to bring
down the JPost website, in particular the blogs sections, through distributed
denial of service,” said Post chief technical officer Yossi Aviv.
don’t want to go into the specifics of how we combated this attack, but suffice
it to say, we were successful in neutralizing the threat. We have been taking
all measures to protect the site since last week, in advance of the anticipated
attacks by Anonymous.
“The Jerusalem Post places great importance on the
smooth running of the website, with its hundreds of thousands of visitors every
day from every corner of the world,” Aviv added. noting that hackers published
lists containing hacked sites and Facebook accounts.
DDOS attacks target
a website’s servers, flooding them with false requests for access, thereby
making it impossible for surfers to access a particular site. They are distinct
from attacks in which hackers gain access to servers, allowing them to steal
content or alter the affected website.
Anonymous had announced it would
strike at Israeli websites, claiming that Israel had attempted to curb Internet
access for Palestinians. The attacks, Anonymous said in a video announcement
released at the end of March, were an act of solidarity with the Palestinians.