Last week international computer hackers operating under the umbrella group Anonymous threatened to “erase Israel from the Internet” in a massive coordinated attack scheduled for today. By mid-morning Sunday, that attack had largely failed, and Israeli hackers had scored some blows of their own against the foreign assailants.
There was an increase in cyber attacks against Israeli government computer systems and the websites of local banks, as well as numerous smaller websites and networks. But nearly all of those attacks were repelled by Israel’s growing network of cyber defenses.
“There is hardly any real damage,” Yitzhak Ben Yisrael of Israel’s National Cyber Bureau told the Associated Press. “Anonymous doesn’t have the skills to damage the country’s vital infrastructure.”
A number of smaller Israeli websites were defaced temporarily, and in retaliation Israeli hackers defaced the websites of Islamist groups across the region.
More impressively, Israeli hackers penetrated the website associated with the Anonymous campaign against Israel — opisrael.com. Instead of reading about Anonymous’s anti-Israel views, those visiting opisrael.com on Sunday morning were presented with a pro-Israel banner and a long list of facts regarding the legitimacy of Israel and the history of the Jewish people.
The Israelis were operating under the newly formed banner of the Israeli Elite Strike Force.