OpIsrael hackers fail to "erase Israel from the internet"

After much hype, the large-scale attacks on Israeli internet sites has ended with few victories

by The Commentator on 8 April 2013 00:17


Anonymous hackers and their global counterparts were left embarrassed on Sunday evening as the large-scale "OpIsrael" exercise to "erase Israel from the internet" failed to bring about the calamitous repercussions for the Jewish State that was promised.

While many had feared the co-ordinated cyber attack, timed to coincide with Israel's Holocaust Rememberance Day, the efforts failed to prompt widespread downtime for Israeli government websites and big business. Instead, the hackers had minor successes targeting small firms and indeed individuals' Facebook and Twitter pages.

Hackers made unsubstantiated claims, such as that of shutting down Tel Aviv's entire internet services, and causing Israel to lose over $5bn in stock market loses on Sunday. The facts surrounding such claims however, remain unclear.

Cyber-security experts labelled the attempts as unsophisticated and branded the hacktivists as lacking in knowledge. 

As the day of attacks on Israel progressed, The Commentator noted that targets seemed to switch from high-profile organisations and government sites, to individual Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and indeed in some cases, the hackers outright lied about their successes. 

Nir Goldshlager, Israel’s most famous “white hat” hacker and CEO of Break Security told The Times of Israel, “...they claimed that they hacked into the site for the Israel Police, with the site’s address police.gov.li. They may have hacked it, but by getting the domain mixed up (.li instead of .il) whatever it was they thought they were hacking, it wasn’t the Israel Police site.”

A cursory glance at maps of the OpIsrael conversation on Twitter showed much chatter emanating from Israel's surrounding Muslim and Arab countries. Accordingly, Israeli hackers struck back, apparently bringing down dozens of websites in Iran, Turkey, Indonesia, and North African countries, from where many of anti-Israel DDoS attacks originated.

Israeli hackers also managed to obtain control of the messaging of the OpIsrael hackers, rebranding OpIsrael.com with audio of the Hatikvah (Israeli National Anthem) and publishing a post entitled, "A Few Forgotten Facts" which hit back the messaging of the anti-Israel groups.

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