Anonymous Declares Cyberwar in Israel over Gaza War

Anonymous, the infamous hacker collective, has declared cyberwar on Israel since the nation began aerial strikes on Gaza last week. The Israeli government said that it has been hit with more than 44 million cyberattacks in that time period, and Anonymous is claiming responsibility for taking down some sites and leaking passwords because of what it calls Israel's "barbaric, brutal and despicable treatment" of Palestinians.

Carmela Avner, Israel's chief information officer, said in a press release:

"The war is being fought on three fronts. The first is physical, the second is the world of social networks and the third is cyberattacks. The attackers are attempting to harm the accessibility of Israel's government websites on an ongoing basis. When events like the current operation occur, this sector heats up and we see increased activity. Therefore, at this time, defending the governmental computer systems is of invaluable importance."

Israel says that the cyberattacks have largely been unsuccessful.

According to Israel's defense minister, Yuval Steinitz, only one website was down for ten minutes.

Anonymous, on the other hand, has posted a list of more than 650 Israel-based websites it says it has taken down or defaced since last week. For example, visitors to Bing's Israel site on Monday morning saw an anti-Israel rant instead of the search engine homepage.

A page that is associated with Anonymous also posted a new threat, which read:

"November 2012 will be a month to remember for the (Israel Defense Forces) and Internet security forces. Israeli Gov. this is/will turn into a cyberwar."

The hackers have ramped up their cyber attack efforts and have begun moving beyond just denial of service attacks, and are looking to penetrate any vulnerable target available to them.