Annual cyber-attack on Israel targets MK’s website
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Annual cyber-attack on Israel targets MK’s website

Online campaign by Anonymous hackers defaces dozens of sites, fails to wreak promised ‘electronic Holocaust’

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

The defacement used by hackers to attack Israeli websites as part of the OpIsrael cyber-attack on April 7, 2015. (screen capture: yossiyonah.org.il)
The defacement used by hackers to attack Israeli websites as part of the OpIsrael cyber-attack on April 7, 2015. (screen capture: yossiyonah.org.il)

Anti-Israel hackers defaced dozens of Israeli websites on Tuesday as part of a promised “electronic Holocaust” on the Jewish state by the Anonymous collective of hackers. Among the websites targeted by the group were those of MK Yossi Yona, Israeli singer Shalom Hanoch, and a girls’ high school.

The annual attack, known as OpIsrael, targeted dozens of websites and Facebook accounts, as well as thousands of email addresses, Anonymous claimed.

Yona, a member of the Zionist Union party, had his personal website defaced and replaced with text explaining that the hack was on behalf of the Palestinians.

“Greetings world we are AnonGhost We are always here to punish you!” the hackers’ message read. “Because we are the voice of Palestine and we will not remain silent! We are the sound of the forgotten people, the freedom fighter in the cyberworld and our main target is Zionisme and israhell, if you are asking why your website got hacked by us, its basically because we want to share our message and show the world who we are, we are not looking for fame but we have a goal to achieve we supporte all hackers teams and we supporte all the freedom mouvement in the world.”

“Muslims are everywhere – We will enter to Palestine soon 🙂 remember this 😀 #OpIsrael Engaged , Expect us !” it read.

The website of Hanoch, 68, a veteran of the Israeli music scene, contained the same message.

The text was virtually identical to that posted on the Meretz party website, which was hacked over the weekend.

According to the Hebrew-language Walla news website, a girls’ high school was similarly targeted, as were various other organizations.

The Operation Israel group claimed on its Twitter feed to have also hacked the Economy Ministry’s website, but the attack seemed to have targeted an old, now-defunct web page.

The current Economy Ministry website was not damaged.

Likewise, the websites of The Geological Survey of Israel and the Laboratory Accreditation Authority both seemed unaffected by an attack, despite claims by @Op_Israel.

In a short video clip published on the Internet earlier this week, Anonymous promised an “electronic Holocaust” against Israel as payback for last year’s summer conflict in the Gaza Strip between the Israel Defense Forces and Hamas.

Israel’s Computer Emergency Response Team, a civilian cyber-security group, says Anonymous attacked a few dozen websites belonging to Israeli musicians and nonprofit organizations on Tuesday. No major government websites were affected.

The OpIsrael attacks, held each year on April 7, began in 2013. Although the hackers have succeeded in some cases of bringing down websites and have published credit card details of Israelis, the attacks have not caused disruption of Internet services in Israel.

AP contributed to this report.

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