'Jerusalem Post' targeted by cyber-attack

During peak of denial-of-service attack, 10,000 spam emails were sent in a minute; hackers also tried but failed to control 'Post's firewall.

August 4, 2011 17:01
1 minute read.
[illustrative photo]

Computer technology keyboard 311 (R). (photo credit: Reuters/Catherine Benson)

The Jerusalem Post’s computer system was targeted with a cyber-attack on Wednesday.

Hackers flooded e-mail addresses with spam messages during the first phase of the incident.

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At the attack’s peak, 10,000 messages arrived in under a minute as part of a denial-of-service attack.

The spam e-mails were in Arabic, English and other languages.

The Post’s Internet defenses were able to deal with the incident, computer technicians said.

During the second phase, hackers tried to seize control of the Post’s firewall and bring it down, but failed, technicians added.

The attack lasted around six hours.

Last month, the Knesset’s Science and Technology Committee warned that an Internet-based cyber-attack can lead to the collapse of states if proper defenses are not installed.

The committee heard a range of views on the latest threats, some of which emphasized the need to bring defenses around vital civilian infrastructure, such as financial services, up to speed.

MK Meir Sheetrit said during the meeting that “without tanks, and without planes... it is possible to bring about the collapse of a state, and no military can come to the rescue. It is vital that basic steps are initiated to ensure the continuity of computer systems.”

Sheetrit added that legislation was needed to provide cyber-defenses to vital civilian potential targets.

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