Hacktivists, including cyber gangs such as the infamous Killnet, a Russian hacker group, are targeting various Israeli organizations following deadly attacks by Hamas militants.
The gunbattles between Hamas and the Israel Defense Forces forces continue, and now, cyber warriors have joined the fight.
The website gov.il was impossible to connect to from around the world on Sunday evening, and Killnet swiftly took full responsibility for the attack on Telegram, a social network.
"Israeli government, you are responsible for this bloodshed. Back in 2022, you supported the terrorist regime in Ukraine. You betrayed Russia. Today, Killnet officially informs you of this! All government systems of Israel will be subject to our attacks!" Killnet said on the hacked website.
On Telegram, Killnet later said that the group is not targeting ordinary Israeli citizens – its target is the “regime” that “sold itself to the NATO whore, the same main terrorist, with the slogan of PEACE and DEFENSE!”
The group added: “The atrocities that Hamas or Israel commit against civilians are terrible! We exclude the possibility of attacking the critical infrastructure of both sides!”
Anonymous Sudan, another hacktivist group, widely suspected to be neither anonymous nor Sudanese – but Russian, has sided with Hamas and Killnet on Telegram.
Precisely this group has attacked The Jerusalem Post website on Sunday. The media outlet said on X, formerly known as Twitter: “The Jerusalem Post has been targeted by multiple cyberattacks this morning causing our site to crash.”
“We'll be back soon and will continue to be the top source of information on Operation Swords of Iron and the murderous attacks by Hamas.”
On Saturday, Anonymous Sudan claimed to have targeted Israel’s Iron Dome, the country’s mobile all-weather air defense system, and also said it had attacked the Alert applications in Israel.
Another Russian hacking group, Cyber Army of Russia, was conducting a poll to determine which side they should support on Sunday evening.
Pro-Israeli hacktivists are also active. For instance, on Sunday afternoon, the official Hamas website was taken down – allegedly by Indian hackers. In neighboring Pakistan, the group that goes by the name “Team Insane PK”, said it hacked a hydroelectric power plant in Israel.
Group-IB, a Singapore-based cybersecurity company, said on Sunday through its Threat Intelligence platform that various threat actors groups have entered the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
“We’ve seen that threat actor groups are entering the fray and launching attacks on government websites and IT systems amid the escalation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” researchers said on X.
Israel is reeling from a deadly attack by Hamas militants who broke through barriers around Gaza early on Saturday morning and roamed at will, killing hundreds of civilians in Israeli towns. With Israel now bombing Gaza where Hamas is based, the attack toll reached 600 on Sunday night, both sides taking heavy casualties.
Israel’s defense chiefs are facing growing questions over how the disaster could have happened in a country whose intelligence apparatus is considered to be one of the best in the world. Leaving aside the decades-old struggle with Palestinians, Israel has been mired in cyber controversy of late, due to NSO’s Pegasus spyware program that has been used to spy on political dissidents and suppress populations around the globe.
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