Cyberattack disrupts Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s online gala

Assault crashes orchestra’s website and event partner Medici.TV during fundraiser to help ensemble overcome losses suffered during coronavirus pandemic

Screen capture from video of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra's Global Gala 2020. (YouTube)
Screen capture from video of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra's Global Gala 2020. (YouTube)

JTA — A suspected cyberattack disrupted a live virtual gala held by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, making it impossible to view for most of the 13,000 people worldwide who had registered.

The Sunday afternoon attack on the fundraiser, which was trying to help the orchestra overcome losses due to COVID-19, crashed the websites of the orchestra and its gala partner, Medici.TV.

Shortly after the attack, the orchestra was able to share a replay of the event on its YouTube channel. The full gala was later posted to YouTube.

Oscar winner Helen Mirren hosted a program that included short performances by the orchestra’s new conductor, Lahav Shani, and its musicians, as well as friends of the orchestra including Pinchas Zukerman and Amanda Forsyth, Yefim Bronfman, Itzhak Perlman, Evgeny Kissin, András Schiff, Gil Shaham, Chen Reiss and Martin Frost.

“It seems that hackers were determined to silence our message and stamp out our voice, but they will not succeed,” said Danielle Ames Spivak, executive director of American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, which collaborated with the orchestra and the IPO Foundation on the event. “More than ever, we are determined to spread the Israel Philharmonic’s message of hope, peace, and beauty around the world.”

No group or individual has claimed responsibility for the alleged cyberattack.

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