With Gaza conflict, cyberattacks come too

Pro-Palestinian hackers have defaced thousands of sites following attacks in Gaza.

The conflict raging in Gaza between Israel and Palestine has spilled over to the Internet.

Since last Saturday week, thousands of Web pages have been defaced by hacking groups operating out of Morocco, Lebanon, Turkey, Iran, said Gary Warner, director of research in computer forensics with the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

The defacements have primarily affected small businesses and vanity Web pages hosted on Israel's .il Internet domain space. One such site, Rosh Ha'ayin, Israel's Galoz Electronics Ltd, whose hacked Web site read "RitualistaS GrouP Hacked your System!!! The world isn't insurance!!! For a better world," on Wednesday.

Other attackers have placed more incendiary messages condemning the U.S. and Israel and adding graphic photographs of the violence. Warner said he has seen no evidence that any Israeli government site has been hit by these attacks, although they have been targeted.

A week ago, Israel launched air strikes into Gaza in response to earlier rocket attacks from Hamas and other militant groups. The online attacks began soon after, Warner said. "It really got serious on [last] Sunday," he said. "All the stops got pulled out."

Since then, Warner estimates that about 10,000 Web pages have been hacked. Many of these intrusions have been documented on sites such as Arabic Mirror, which keeps track of hacked Web sites. Often these are mass defacements where many pages hosted on the same server are hit.

The defacements are being carried out by loose-knit hacking groups that meet in several online forums to coordinate their attacks. One hacker, called Cold Z3ro claims to have hacked nearly 5,000 Web pages, Warner said.

Web defacement community took off in the militant Muslim community in 2006 when hundreds of Danish Web sites were hacked after a Danish newspaper printed cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed. One group, which had about 70 members at the time of the Danish cartoon incident, now boasts more than 10,000 hackers, Warner said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags cybercrimecyberwar

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?