Hacktivists stoke Israel-Gaza conflict online
A hooded man holds a laptop computer as cyber code is projected on him in this illustration picture taken on May 13, 2017. REUTERS
Hacktivist groups say they are hitting Israeli targets online amid the war in Israel and Gaza, disrupting and defacing websites like the Jerusalem Post.
The conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbors routinely attracts both intense global interest and politically minded hackers – dubbed hacktivists – who piggyback on the fighting, either to support their favored side or simply get attention.
“There are dozens of victims per day, claimed by both pre-established and new (hacktivist) groups,” cyber intelligence firm Recorded Future said.
Examples of serious or long-term damage are still thin, but the activism shows how a subset of supporters use digital tools to bring the war online.
So far, among other incidents, a set of hackers supporting Hamas, known as AnonGhost, have claimed they disrupted an Israeli emergency alert application, according to their social media channel.
Another group, named AnonymousSudan, said on Telegram they were actively targeting Israel’s critical infrastructure, although it provided little by way of evidence for its claims.
More than 100 websites in Israel have been either defaced or temporarily disrupted through simple distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS), which work by flooding a site with a rush of inauthentic traffic, according to security analysts.
“The attackers have managed to knock us offline for extended periods over the past few days,” Jerusalem Post Editor-in-chief Avi Mayer said in an email. “This is a blatant assault on freedom of the press.”