Israeli cyber authorities are advising civilian Internet sites on defensive steps they should take, ahead of a potential wave of cyber attacks threatened by hackers affiliated with Anonymous.
Unknown cyber hackers said in recent weeks that they will attempt to hack a number of Israeli websites on Tuesday, with cyber attacks possibly beginning on Monday.
The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and the National Cyber Defense Center, which is a part of the Prime Minister’s Office, are passing on tips to civilian Internet sites on how to defend themselves.
The Shin Bet is in charge of providing cyber defenses to areas of the Internet identified with critical infrastructure – sectors that have not been traditionally attacked by past waves of Anonymous attacks.
Nevertheless, security sources said, it is passing on tips from its extensive experience to those sites that could be targeted, such as university home pages that have previously been defaced.
The sources expect the attacks to take the form of defacement, as part of an attempt to impact public perception.
In a video originally posted on March 4, a masked person said the hackers will carry out an “electronic Holocaust” on April 7 as hackers from “around the world unite in solidarity with the Palestinian people.”
The video showed images from last summer’s Operation Protective Edge, including clips of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
This is the fourth year in a row that Anonymous has threatened Israel with hacking, and past attempts have been largely unsuccessful. The group also regularly threatens other countries around the world.
In 2014, the Shin Bet said it had opened a special cyber operations room in preparation for the hacking campaign, but found that the Internet onslaught produced only minor slowdowns on dozens of official sites. The group managed to take the Israel postal service and the Education Ministry websites down briefly and disrupt a handful of private websites. It also published a long list of phone numbers and email addresses belonging to Israeli officials.
Past attempts have also targeted the sites of Yad Vashem, the Prime Minister’s Office, and the IDF website, with limited success.
Individual pro-Israel hackers will also most likely be part of the defense.
In 2013, Israeli hackers broke into the server hosting hackers sites that helped coordinate the online attack on Israel. In 2014, Israeli hackers publicly posted pictures of the Anonymous hackers by accessing into their computer’s webcams.Niv Elis contributed to this report.