While military action dominates headlines, a less explosive war is being fought in cyberspace. Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said Sunday his country’s faced 44 million cyber attacks since launching airstrikes on Gaza four days ago. A press release detailing the attacks said the government had faced tens of millions of attacks on websites belonging to the defense establishment, 10 million on the President’s website, 7 million on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs site, 3 million attacks on that of the Prime Minister, and 3 million on the eGov website, GOV.IL.
According to Steinitz, Israel has addressed and warded off all but one of these attacks, which resulted in a website being down for a few minutes. Steinitz did not say who was responsible for the attacks, but just a day before, hacktivist group Anonymous announced they had attacked Israeli government websites to protest their “brutal and desipicable treatment of the Palestinian people.” The group also claimed to have retaliated in response to Israeli cyber threats, saying in a statement that, “when the government of Israel publicly threatened to sever all internet and other telecommunications into and out of Gaza they crossed a line in the sand.”
Steinitz said the government has taken appropriate backup measures to keep sites running in case of an attack and that their success in responding to the attacks thus far has been “greater than anticipated.”
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