The Israeli government has become a victim of cyber-warfare attacks since Operation Pillar of Defense began four days ago. On Saturday, hacktivist group Anonymous launched a massive attack on over 700 Israeli websites.
The country’s finance minister has acknowledged the recent wave of attacks, saying the government is now waging a war on a “second front.”
Over the past four days, Israel has “deflected 44 million cyber-attacks on government websites,” Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz told AP.
Steinitz said the government has come up with a backup for “essential websites,” should they be taken down by hackers.
"This is an unprecedented attack, and our success has been greater than we anticipated," he said.
He did not say who was responsible for the hacking attempts. He also declined to disclose which countries the attacks were coming from.
His comments come just one day after hacktivist group Anonymous launched a massive attack on almost 700 Israeli websites, calling the campaign #OpIsrael.
The group took down the Israeli president’s official website and the blog of the country's Defense Force, www.idfblog.com. The collective posted the news on Twitter using their infamous #TANGO DOWN hashtag. The blog is still down.
Screenshot from idfblog.com
Screenshot from idfblog.com
It also attacked the website of the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s international development program, in a protest against an alleged Israeli threat to cut the Gaza Strip’s internet connections.
Other targeted sites include those belonging to the Kadima party, the Bank of Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv Municipality. All of the websites continue to be shut down.
Most of the sites are simply unavailable, but others display pro-Palestinian images and messages. A message on one website read, “This attack is in response to the injustice against the Palestinian people."
Both sides of the conflict are using social networking sites to influence public opinion as the death toll from the violence continues to rise. Sixty-five Palestinians – including at least 13 children – have been killed over the course of five days.
The Israeli government has fully embraced social networking sites – including Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram.
After taking out Hamas military leader Ahmed Jabari with a precision guided bomb, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) tweeted a warning to Hamas: “We recommend that no Hamas operatives, whether low level or senior leaders, show their faces above ground in the days ahead.”
The news about the Jabari assassination was announced on Twitter before it was announced to the media.
Palestinians have joined the Twitter war, too. In response to the IDF tweet, the Al-Qassam Brigades tweeted: “Our blessed hands will reach your leaders and soldiers wherever they are (You opened hell gates on yourselves).”
Greetings Citizens of the world, This is Anonymous. It has come to our attention that the Israeli government has ignored repeated warnings about the abuse of human rights, shutting down the internet in Israel and mistreating its own citizens and those of its neighboring countries. November 2012 will be a month to remember for the Israeli defense forces and internet security forces. Israeli Gov. this is/will turn into a cyberwar.
Leaked document of 5000 Israeli Officials: http://bit.ly/UAepwL
We are Anonymous
We are Legion
We will not forgive.
We will not forget.
Israel, it is too late to expect us. #OpIsrael #Anonymous
More: Current Internet, telecommunication and death toll situation/status in #Gaza | #OpIsrael: http://tmblr.co/ZNMTdvXOLg0b
Arabic: http://www.anonpaste.me/anonpaste2/index.php?89452a7861b4af1d#hFCbUSaOGM+ZBIgJPGEOBwxEjxV0lNNnbdPQnx0uQRw= Arabic v2.0: http://www.mediafire.com/?hpnne29xvx1ceuv
Care Package: http://bayfiles.com/file/rPjj/a7ehrr/Op_Israel_Care_Package_For_Gaza.zip
Pls follow @Crypt0nymous to stay updated about the Current Internet, telecommunication and death toll situation/status in #Gaza. By the way @Crypt0nymous reports only news. Greetz to @Op_Israel
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 Force. Like so many around the globe, we have felt helpless in the face of such implacable evil. And today's insane attack and threatened invasion of Gaza was more of the same.
But when the government of Israel publicly threatened to sever all Internet and other telecommunications into and out of Gaza they crossed a line in the sand. As the former dictator of Egypt Mubarack learned the hard way - we are ANONYMOUS and NO ONE shuts down the Internet on our watch. To the IDF and government of Israel we issue you this warning only once. Do NOT shut down the Internet into the "Occupied Territories", and cease and desist from your terror upon the innocent people of Palestine or you will know the full and unbridled wrath of Anonymous. And like all the other evil governments that have faced our rage, you will NOT survive it unscathed.
To the people of Gaza and the "Occupied Territories", know that Anonymous stands with you in this fight. We will do everything in our power to hinder the evil forces of the IDF arrayed against you. We will use all our resources to make certain you stay connected to the Internet and remain able to transmit your experiences to the world. As a start, we have put together the Anonymous Gaza Care Package - http://bit.ly/XH87C5 - which contains instructions in Arabic and English that can aid you in the event the Israel government makes good on it's threat to attempt to sever your Internet connection. It also contains useful information on evading IDF surveillance, and some basic first aid and other useful information. We will continue to expand and improve this document in the coming days, and we will transmit it to you by every means at our disposal. We encourage you to download this package, and to share it with your fellow Palestinians to the best of your ability.
We will be with you. No matter how dark it may seem, no matter how alone and abandoned you may feel - know that tens of thousands of us in Anonymous are with you and working tirelessly around the clock to bring you every aid and assistance that we can.
We Are Anonymous
We Are Everywhere
We Are Legion
We Do Not Forgive
We Do Not Forget
To the oppressors of the innocent Palestinian people, it is too late to EXPECT US
Join chan #OpIsrael in irc.voxanon.net or irc.anonops.net.