Gaza crisis spills over into cyberwar

More than 44 million hacking attempts have been made on Israeli government websites in the four days since it started its Gaza air strikes.

Gaza crisis spills over into cyberwar

According to Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, just one hacking attempt was successful on a site he did not want to name, but he claimed it was up and running after 10 minutes of downtime.

Typically, there are a few hundred hacking attempts a day on Israeli sites, the ministry said.

Defence-related sites have suffered the most attacks, while 10m attempts have been made on the site of Israel’s president, 7m on the Foreign Ministry and 3m on the site of the prime minister.

A ministry spokesman said that while the attacks have come from around the world, most have been from within Israel and the Palestinian territories.

“The ministry’s computer division will continue to block the millions of cyber-attacks,” Steinitz said. “We are enjoying the fruits of our investment in recent years in developing computerised defence systems.”

Steinitz has instructed his ministry to operate in emergency mode to counter attempts to undermine government sites.

Both sides in the Gaza conflict, but particularly Israel, are embracing the social media as one of their tools of warfare. The Israeli Defense Force has established a presence on almost every platform available, while Palestinian militants are active on Twitter.

“The war is taking place on three fronts. The first is physical, the second is on the world of social networks and the third is cyber,” said Carmela Avner, Israel’s chief information officer.

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