Israel Today hacked; Israeli army jumps into cyber war

Thursday, February 09, 2012 |  Ryan Jones  

Many of our readers will have noticed that our online services have been sporadic at best over the past few days. Many will also be aware that Israel is in the midst of an escalating cyber war with pro-Palestinian activists around the world. Our latest server problems are related to that war.

Over the past few days, an unknown hacker or group of hackers pounded the israeltoday.co.il domain with so many requests that it repeatedly crashed. We weren't the only ones affected. Hundreds of Israeli sites were targeted and briefly brought down, including the Hebrew and English-language news sites of Israel's best-selling newspaper, Yediot Ahronot.

As the cyber war between Israel and pro-Palestinian hackers intensifies, the Israeli army is taking an increasingly prominent role in defending the nation on this new battlefield.

The IDF Spokesperson reported this week that 27-year-old Daniel, a recent immigrant from Mexico, had been recruited by the army for is "creative" computer skills.

In his current position as systems information security NCO for the Israeli Air Force, Daniel is helping fellow soldiers and officers meet the new threat posed by foreign hackers.

"He helps us come up with solutions for the most sensitive and complex problems," said Daniel's commander, Maj. Assaf. "He has a lot of knowledge and we consider him a significant improvement in level."

Daniel's entry into the fight and the increasing activity of other pro-Israel hackers, such as "IDF Team" and the foreign Jewish hacker "Hannibal", comes just in time.

Until now, Israel has faced mostly smaller groups of Arab hackers from around the Middle East. But the prominent international "hackivist" group Anonymous now has its sights set on the Jewish state. According to various Internet posting, Anonymous plans to launch a major attack on Israeli websites on February 14, Valentine's Day.

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