Anonymous video threatens Israeli online systems

News by Ava Fedorov

Israel's online servers are again being threatened by the hacker group, Anonymous, under their banner 'OpIsrael'.  In a video released yesterday, a masked group member announced 7 April 2015 as the alleged attack date in a clear message that also featured photographs of Palestinian children and war ravaged areas of Palestine contrasted with images of Benjamin Netanyahu, briefing with the defence minister and other military officials.

Israel has been the target of countless cyber-attacks, including several initiated by the Anonymous group targeting the Iron Dome in late 2014. However, due to substantial security precautions and rapid response, most attacks have caused little more than temporary damage. Most commonly, hackers leak the names and login data of Israeli government officials, but often these lists are outdated by the time of the leak.

“For the most part, this is posturing,” Benjamin T. Decker, senior intelligence analyst at Tel Aviv-based geopolitical risk consultancy The Levantine Group told online news sources. “This is actually the fourth year that Anonymous has carried out this OpIsrael attack and called on their supporters to erase Israel from the internet,” he says.

“As the years have progressed we have seen that, despite their increasing sophistication in hacking techniques, we have seen less damage against Israeli cyber-infrastructures, largely due to Israel's pioneering of most cyber-warfare tactics, both offensive and defensive.”

Still, the message has been heard by hackers world-wide who disagree with Israel's aggressive tactics. Since the battle between the IDF and Palestinian militant groups, cyber-attacks have likewise increased nine-fold, according to The Times of Israel. “Instead of the usual 100,000 attacks we get each day,” Isaac Ben-Israel, a technology and security expert at Tel Aviv University, commented, “we were now getting a million such attacks from all over the Arab and Muslim world.”

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