A wave of cyber attacks has hit Israel in recent weeks, but fortunately has not caused any major damage. However, a new threat became apparent, as not only Iranians but also Russian elements were involved in the campaign.
Also of concern, according to a Channel 12 report, is that the attacks were able to briefly bring down large websites, suggesting the attackers have advanced skills. The Iranians are believed to have received help from the Russians, perhaps as “payment” for the Iranian drones that Russia is using in the war against Ukraine.
Now it is feared that the attacks could continue and even escalate as part of the annual OpIsrael campaign. The so-called OpIsrael campaign took place from April 6 to 9, and was mainly aimed at private companies, but there were also attacks on universities, hospitals, airlines and media companies.
According to a report by Clearsky, between April 6 and April 9, 2023, DDOS (Denial of Service) attacks were primarily carried out, mostly targeting hospitals and universities. The most significant attacks were carried out by the Killnet group, which started operations last week. A group called Anonymous Sudan also took part in the attacks, surprising them with very advanced technology, which experts define as a “state capability.” The cyber attack was massive, according to Clearsky, up to 4 terabytes at a time, which is far beyond what can be attributed to individual or groups of hackers in a third world country. With their technology, the hackers managed to outsmart the Israeli cyber defenses. The Israeli company Check Point, which was itself the victim of a serious attack, attributes the advanced capabilities to the Russian group Killnet, which operates under the auspices and with financial support of the Russian government.
Organizations targeted included Arkia, Israir and El-Al airlines, Rambam, Assaf Harofeh and Niado hospitals, the Open University, Ben Gurion University, the Technion and the University of Haifa, and media outlets such as The Jerusalem Post, Kan 11 and i24News.
The Israel Today and Israel Heute websites have also been the victims of cyber attacks several times in the past few days.
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