Anonymous hits Israel over Gaza strikes

#OpIsrael picks up over the weekend, taking down numerous government websites

Topics: Anonymous, Israel, Palestine, Hacking, #OpIsrael, ,

Anonymous hits Israel over Gaza strikes (Credit: Shutterstock)

During Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense against Palestinians in Gaza last November, Anonymous hackers launched a mass attack on Israeli government websites. In response to the eight day assault that killed 133 Palestinians, Anonymous’ #OpIsrael defaced thousands of Israeli sites and provided information for Gazans facing Internet and communications blackouts. 60 million hacking attempts were reportedly made.

Last week, Israeli airstrikes once again hit targets in Gaza, officially breaking a ceasefire established last November (although cross-border clashes have informally breached the ceasefire in recent months, leaving four Palestinians dead). In retaliation, Anonymous relaunched #OpIsrael this weekend, and according to an Anonymous spokesperson offering a partial damage report, 60,000 websites, 40,000 Facebook pages, 5,000 twitter accounts and 30,000 Israeli bank accounts got hacked, causing an estimated $3-plus billion damage, the hacker collective claim. “Not bad for 24 hours,” Anonymous noted.

Israeli government officials have downplayed the impact of the Anonymous attacks. Yitzhak Ben Yisrael of the government’s National Cyber Bureau told the AP that hackers had mostly failed to shut down key sites. “So far it is as was expected, there is hardly any real damage,” Ben Yisrael said.

However, an Anonymous spokesperson told Salon that the official’s comments fail to recognize the effect of such hacks on individual targets:

Tell that to the thousands of people and orgs that will have to repair their defaced sites today. Tell that to the thousands of people who had their credit cards dumped, or passwords and logins dumped. Damage is in the eye of the beholder, if it’s YOUR shit that got wrecked or dumped it’s NOT minimal.

Natasha Lennard
Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email nlennard@salon.com.

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