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Israel facing 'millions' of cyber-attacks over Gaza

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The Israeli government on Sunday admitted it had become the victim of a mass cyber-warfare campaign over Gaza.

Cyber warfare... Israel says it's under attack over Gaza.

Cyber warfare... Israel says it's under attack over Gaza.

JERUSALEM — The Israeli government on Sunday admitted it had become the victim of a mass cyber-warfare campaign with millions of attempts to hack state websites since the start of its Gaza offensive last week.

Speaking ahead of the weekly cabinet meeting, Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said the government was now waging war on "a second front - of cyber attacks against Israel."

Steinitz said in the past four days, Israel had "deflected 44 million cyber attacks on government websites. All the attacks were thwarted except for one, which targeted a specific website that was down for six or seven minutes."

His remarks came a day after the online activist group Anonymous claimed to have downed dozens of websites of Israeli state agencies and a top bank in protest over the Jewish state's deadly air assault.

It also comes as both Israel and the Palestinians try exploiting the social networks in a furious effort to win over public opinion amid the worst outbreak of Middle East violence in four years.

Steinitz did not say who was responsible, but said the government had successfully managed to deflect almost every attack, thereby avoiding serious disruption or other damage.

On Saturday, Anonymous claimed to have downed or erased the databases of nearly 700 Israeli private and public websites, including that of the Bank of Jerusalem finance house.

It also claimed to have briefly downed the foreign ministry website in protest over an alleged Israeli threat to cut the Gaza Strip's internet communications.

"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 Defence Force," Anonymous said in a statement.

"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."

Steinitz made no direct reference to Anonymous and failed to specify if the government was dealing with a coordinated attack. He also refused to disclose which countries these efforts were being conducted from.

But the minister stressed that the government had come up with back-up for "essential websites" should they be taken down.

"This is an unprecedented attack, and our success has been greater than we anticipated," Steinitz said.

AFP

15 comments

  • The attacks are to be deplored. If they are permitted, the n anyone, anywhere can attack anything if they disagree with them with impunity. That would lead to chaos, worldwide.

    Commenter
    mm
    Location
    nsw
    Date and time
    November 19, 2012, 11:10AM
    • mm the attacks on Gaza are deplorable and the threat to cut off all telecommunications services is simply a way of controlling what information is filtered out into the world news ie make things look as good or as bad as a government wants, and to control the population.

      Israeli airstrikes have already intentionally taken out media resources so the public's access to the internet is essential for accurate up-to-date information to be accessible.

      The Anon attacks on websites are simply a form of protest against the Israeli governments actions. The consequences of the Egyptian government turning the internet off created chaos, increased fear and resulted in the loss of lives.

      Commenter
      T
      Date and time
      November 19, 2012, 12:14PM
  • I'm so over Israel using "I'm the victim" to justify just about anything it wants to do.

    Commenter
    Boilinghotfrog
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    November 19, 2012, 11:36AM
    • Then what, praytell, would you suggest doing if there are constant random rocket attacks on civilians by a group who do not believe that you have the right to exist?

      Commenter
      BetterOption
      Location
      Syd
      Date and time
      November 19, 2012, 1:12PM
    • BetterOption
      How about observing the ceasefire that was in place, instead of using the time to kill the people you have the agreement with in the first place?
      Oh but what about the missiles?
      There would be no missile if there were no Gaza Ghetto.

      But no, easier to "shoot and weep"

      Commenter
      Reechard
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      November 19, 2012, 2:30PM
    • BetterOption have you forgotten how the jewish inderpendance was achieved with terriost bombings?

      Commenter
      ozcurly1
      Date and time
      November 19, 2012, 2:36PM
  • Israel is getting off lightly here. The rest of the world sits by and condones its actions, at least some people are trying to fight the good fight.

    @mm People like you don't deserve a say in anything. You're not intelligent enough.

    Commenter
    Mr Bungle
    Date and time
    November 19, 2012, 12:43PM
    • I'm so over Hamas using "I'm the victim" to justify sending over 1,500 rockets/missiles into civilian areas of Israel.

      Commenter
      CC
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      November 19, 2012, 12:49PM
      • I don't really see how they can claim to be a victim here. They're bombing people in real life, and when others fight back on a different front all of a sudden they're a victim? Hardly. It's warfare, if they don't like it they should withdraw and concede defeat.

        Commenter
        Cameron
        Date and time
        November 19, 2012, 1:07PM
        • Of course Isreal are victims here. The difinition of a vistim is a person who suffers from a destructive action. Just like Gaza residents are victims of Isreali air strikes and Isreali civilians are vistims of Hamas rockets..............No way, Isreal knows the definition of "a victim" and know when they are on the receiving end for a change.

          Commenter
          Jeff
          Location
          Sydney
          Date and time
          November 19, 2012, 2:40PM

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