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Hacktivists stoke Israel-Gaza conflict online


Hacktivist organizations claim to be targeting online assets of Israel during the ongoing conflict between Israel and Gaza, causing disruptions and defacing websites such as the Jerusalem Post.

The ongoing conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbors often draws significant attention from around the world, as well as from politically motivated hackers known as “hacktivists.” These individuals use the conflict as an opportunity to either show support for one side or gain recognition.

According to the cyber intelligence firm Recorded Future, numerous individuals are targeted each day by established and emerging (hacktivist) organizations.

There is limited evidence of significant or prolonged harm, but the activism demonstrates how a particular group of followers utilize technology to take the battle to the internet.

According to their social media channel, a group of hackers known as AnonGhost and supporting Hamas have claimed responsibility for disrupting an Israeli emergency alert application, among other incidents.

A different team, known as AnonymousSudan, announced on Telegram that they were actively pursuing Israel’s vital systems, but did not provide much evidence to support their statements.

According to security experts, over 100 websites in Israel have been targeted by basic distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS). These attacks involve overwhelming a website with a large volume of fake traffic, resulting in either defacement or temporary disruption.

“The perpetrators have successfully caused extended disruptions to our online services in recent days,” stated Avi Mayer, Editor-in-chief of the Jerusalem Post, in an email. “This is a direct attack on the freedom of the press.”

The Israeli CERT did not promptly reply to requests for comment.

It is challenging to verify the validity of hacktivists’ statements. This situation also occurred after Russia’s complete takeover of Ukraine, when a group of pro-Ukraine hackers took responsibility for multiple cyberattacks on Russian websites and internet services.

Experts anticipate a notable amount of cyber espionage to occur covertly.

Microsoft recently published a report detailing the increased cyber espionage activities of a Gaza-based hacker group, Storm-1133. The group targeted Israeli companies in the telecommunications, defense, and energy sectors in the early months of this year.

The report declared that this organization is working to advance the goals of Hamas.

The CEO of Profero, a cybersecurity company based in Israel, named Omri Segev Moyal, reported detecting hacking activity from an Iranian espionage group known as Muddy Water. There were also attempted intrusions that may be connected to Molerats, a separate group believed to work on behalf of Hamas.

“The Molerats’ movements ceased once the bombing began,” stated the source to Reuters.