Israeli Cyber Frontiers Face Off Against Hacktivist Onslaught Amid Conflict

Kamso Oguejiofor-Abugu Kamso Oguejiofor-Abugu Writer

Amidst the surging conflict with Hamas, Israel’s digital frontiers have come under a coordinated cyber onslaught. Hacktivist groups are targeting Israeli websites and applications, indicating the multifaceted nature of modern warfare.

Killnet, a hacking group with ties to Russia, announced its intention to launch distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on all Israeli government systems. The group attributed their move to Israel’s supposed support for Ukraine and NATO. On Sunday, Killnet claimed success in temporarily shutting down an Israeli government website and the security agency Shin Bet’s online platform.

“I saw at least 60 websites get DDoS attacks,” says Will Thomas, a cybersecurity expert at the internet infrastructure company Equinix. “Half of those are Israeli government sites. I’ve seen at least five sites be defaced to show ‘Free Palestine’–related messages.”

Anonymous Sudan, another group suspected of Russian ties, pronounced its allegiance to the “Palestinian resistance” and claimed responsibility for briefly disrupting the Jerusalem Post’s website.

Another hacking ensemble, AnonGhost, purportedly compromised the Israeli missile alert mobile app, Red Alert: Israel. By exploiting a vulnerability, they sent false notifications, spreading panic among the app’s users. Group IB, a cybersecurity firm, confirmed the breach and noted the app’s subsequent removal from Google’s Play Store.

Pro-Israel cyber factions have retaliated. The Indian Cyber Force, for instance, asserted it had disabled the Palestinian National Bank’s website and a Hamas-operated site, with both platforms reportedly inaccessible on Monday.

Alex Leslie, a threat intelligence analyst at the security firm Recorded Future, says that the scope of the cyberattacks is “international, but rather limited to preexisting ideological blocs within hacktivism.” Leslie says the subgroups the firm has identified so far are “self-proclaimed ‘Islamic’ hacktivists that claim to support Palestine.”

As the lines between traditional warfare and digital confrontations blur, the international community faces new challenges in managing and understanding the expanding battlefield. The situation in Israel clearly demonstrates how volatile and unpredictable the cyber realm is.

About the Author

About the Author

Kamso Oguejiofor is a former Content Writer at SafetyDetectives. He has over 2 years of experience writing and editing topics about cybersecurity, network security, fintech, and information security. He has also worked as a freelance writer for tech, health, beauty, fitness, and gaming publications, and he has experience in SEO writing, product descriptions/reviews, and news stories. When he’s not studying or writing, he likes to play basketball, work out, and binge watch anime and drama series.

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