Israel fighting off millions of cyberattacks

Israel has repelled some 44 million cyberattacks on government websites since the start of Operation Pillar of Defense on Nov. 14, a government minister said.

Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz told reporters on Nov. 18 that all the attacks have been thwarted except one, which brought down a website for a short time.

On Nov. 17, the online terror group Anonymous announced that it had brought down 700 Israeli sites, both public and private, including the websites of several Israeli government offices, such as the Foreign Ministry and the Kadima Party. It did bring down the Foreign Ministry department website that coordinates Israeli aid missions to foreign countries.

The group also claimed it had erased the database of the Bank of Jerusalem, though the bank’s website is operational. It also reportedly released the personal information, including national ID numbers and email addresses, of at least 35,000 Israelis.

“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. 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,” Anonymous said in a statement.

“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.”

One year ago, Anonymous launched a cyberattack on several Israeli government and military websites, including government ministries, the Mossad and the IDF, after Israel intercepted Gaza-bound ships attempt-ing to break the naval blockade. — jta