Quds Day cyberattack strikes Israeli banks, red alert app

The "Anonymous Sudan" hacker group, which carried out cyberattacks on Israeli sites earlier this month, took responsibility for the Quds Day attacks.

 Hands are seen interfering with cyber code (Illustrative). (photo credit: PIXABAY)
Hands are seen interfering with cyber code (Illustrative).
(photo credit: PIXABAY)

The websites of Israel's banks, the post office, the electricity company and the red alert warning app were struck by a cyberattack Friday, with some of the sites have gone offline, Israeli media reported.

The hacker group known as "Anonymous Sudan" has taken responsibility, claiming the targets are Israel Post as well as Bank Leumi, Discount Bank, Mizrahi-Tefahot, Bank Mercantile, Bank Benleumi (First International Bank of Israel) and its subsidiaries Bank Otzar Ha-hayal and Bank Massad, Ynet reported.

The Israel Post said their site was the victim of a Denial of Service (DoS) attack, which temporarily cut off access to the site, N12 reported.

Around 5 p.m., the hackers attacked the websites of Israeli phone providers after writing "we still have two hours before the sunset prayer, during which we will attack everything in Israel," on their Telegram account.

The attempted cyberattacks on Israeli bank websites were identified and stopped, the National Cyber Directorate said. 

"Thanks to the banks' strong cyberdefenses, the websites continue to be live and operational, barring the occasional interruptions," the Cyber Directorate said in a statement, noting that the cyberattacks are limited to the banks' marketing pages and aren't related to their internal systems.

 Cyberwarfare (illustrative) (credit: REUTERS) Cyberwarfare (illustrative) (credit: REUTERS)

Quds Day: Black Friday to Israel's economy

The cyberattack coincides with Quds Day, a holiday celebrated in Iran and among Shi'ite Muslim communities throughout the Middle East.

The danger of cyberattacks on Quds Day is something prior analysts and experts had pointed out.

This is something pointed out by Osher Ashur, cyber manager at the Auren consulting firm and cyber adviser to Israel's Defense Ministry, as noted by N12.

"Anti-Israel groups are taking advantage of Quds Day to attack financial targets and brand this day as Black Friday for the Israeli economy, following the expected threat to Israel's credit rating," he said, according to N12.

Anonymous Sudan strikes again

This isn't the first time Anonymous Sudan has supposedly carried out a cyberattack against an Israeli target.

Earlier this month, the group carried out a cyberattack against Israeli cybersecurity giant Check Point.

That same day, the websites of multiple major universities in Israel were also attacked by the same group, and were down for several hours.

That attack was part of a campaign called OPIsrael, in which activists try to attack targets on the Israeli internet, according to Ynet.

This is a developing story.