Hackers target Israeli government websites
By MICHAEL OMER-MAN, REUTERS
Out of 44 million hacking attempts, Steinitz says only one was successful; 'Anonymous' launched wide-scale attack named #OpIsrael.
More than 44 million hacking attempts have been made on Israeli government web sites since Wednesday when Israel began its Gaza air strikes, the government said on Sunday.
Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said just one hacking attempt was successful on a site he did not want to name, but it was up and running after 10 minutes of downtime.
Late Friday night, hacker collective Anonymous launched a wide-scale attack, named
#OpIsrael on hundreds of Israeli websites in protest
of Operation Pillar of Defense in the Gaza Strip.
The attacks ranged from prominent targets such as the Foreign Ministry to tourism companies and locksmiths.
One of the most high-profile targets of the attack was the Foreign
Ministry’s international development program, Mashav. In an announcement
on Twitter, Anonymous claimed to have tampered with the website’s
The mass hacking attack follows a press release put out by the
collective on Wednesday, in which it said: “For far too long, Anonymous
has stood by with the rest of the world and watched in despair the
barbaric, brutal and despicable treatment of the Palestinian people in
the so called ‘Occupied Territories’ by the Israel Defense Forces."
Tweets announcing websites that it targeted were peppered with hashtags #OpIsrael and #GazaUnderAttack.
statement published Friday stated: “The reasons for Anonymous
intervention through #OpIsrael should be abundantly clear: What is
happening in Palestine is oppression. They have no navy, no army, or air
force. There is no war in Gaza.”
The collective also attempted
to preempt any allegations of anti-Semitism, writing: “Anonymous has not
used any anti-Semitic language during our campaign.
Nor have we vocalized any support for Palestinian military operations or resistance groups.”
The attack’s goals, the statement continued, was to “protect the rights of the Palestinian people.”
a list posted online of the operation’s targets included nearly 700
websites, most of them were subdomains of the same site and a random
sampling proved that a number of the sites listed were still online and
appeared untampered with.
Among the other targets were the
websites of the Kadima Party, Bank of Jerusalem, a jeep tour company, a
locksmith company, allbiz.co.il, fashion accessory companies and even a
Most of the sites were simply unavailable but others displayed pro-Palestinian images and messages.
site, whose front page was replaced with an image of a man wearing a
Palestinian keffiyeh, displayed a message reading: “This attack is in
response to the Injustice against the Palestinian people.”
also claimed to have taken down the Tel Aviv Municipality’s website,
which along with its normal functions is also providing residents with
directions to bomb shelters. The municipality’s website was accessible
at the time of this report and did not appear to have been tampered
Typically, there are a few hundred hacking attempts a day on Israeli sites, the ministry said.
Defense-related sites and those of Israel's prime minister, president and Foreign Ministry have been targeted.
A ministry spokesman said while the attacks have come from around the world, most have been from Israel and the Palestinian territories.
"The ministry's computer division will continue to block the millions of cyber attacks," Steinitz said. "We are enjoying the fruits of our investment in recent years in developing computerized defense systems."