Attacks/Breaches
11/19/2012
04:35 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Israel Draws Ire Of Anonymous

Gaza airstrike-inspired cyberattacks the 'new normal' for global conflicts

As the fierce airstrikes between Israel and Hamas-led forces in the Gaza Strip rage on, another battle fought by volunteer cyberwarriors from around the world is striking out at Israel for its part in the bombings.

This two-dimensional battlefront is what cybersecurity experts say is "the new normal" for global conflict. "This is definitely the new normal in warfare, where kinetic force is used in conjunction with information operations and cyberattacks," says Jeffrey Carr, CEO of Taia Global.

Israeli officials yesterday said there have been more than 44 million hacking attempts against its government websites since the Gaza air strikes first began last Wednesday. A few hundred attempts are made each day, they said, including cyberattack attempts against the defense, prime minister, president, and Foreign Ministry websites.

Members of the hacktivist collective Anonymous say they have hit some 700 Israeli websites with defacements or DDoS attacks in response to the Gaza airstrikes. Anonymous via one of its Twitter feeds claimed to have deleted a Bank of Jerusalem database, as well as the database of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but both websites were online today.

Most of the attacks appear to be defacements and DDoSes, but some also include data dumps posted online, according to reports. Website reports of defacements included Israeli Microsoft sites, MSN, Skype, and Live, all of which are operating normally as of this posting. Some 88 website defacements had been posted on Pastebin.

An Anonymous online post includes a link that the group says contains a "leaked document of 50000 Israeli Officials."

Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said yesterday that just one hack was successful on a website that resulted in about 10 minutes of downtime, but he would not name the site. "The ministry's computer division will continue to block the millions of cyberattacks," Steinitz said. "We are enjoying the fruits of our investment in recent years in developing computerized defense systems."

But cyberattacks against Israeli as well as Palestinian targets had been under way for some time, long before the air strikes. A recently discovered targeted cyberespionage campaign targeting Israeli and Palestinian organizations has been in operation for more than a year.

Researchers at Norman Security analyzed malware used in phishing emails targeting Israeli and Palestinian targets and found that attackers used malware based on the widely available Xtreme RAT crimeware kit. The attacks, which first hit Palestinian targets, this year began going after Israeli targets, including Israeli law enforcement agencies and embassies around the world. Norman says the same attacker is behind the attacks.

Israeli police last month yanked all of their computers offline after discovering a rogue file spreading around their systems. Seculert studied the attack and concluded that the attacks were based on the Xtreme Remote Access Trojan, and says the attackers could be Hamas hacktivists or other players.

Taia Global's Carr says Hamas has used hackers against Israel before. "This time, Anonymous allows them cover. Back in January 2009 in OpCastLead, individual hacker crews were more vocal about their own exploits," he says.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Add Your Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Kelly Jackson Higgins is Executive Editor at DarkReading.com. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2012-2808
Published: 2015-04-01
The PRNG implementation in the DNS resolver in Bionic in Android before 4.1.1 incorrectly uses time and PID information during the generation of random numbers for query ID values and UDP source ports, which makes it easier for remote attackers to spoof DNS responses by guessing these numbers, a rel...

CVE-2014-9713
Published: 2015-04-01
The default slapd configuration in the Debian openldap package 2.4.23-3 through 2.4.39-1.1 allows remote authenticated users to modify the user's permissions and other user attributes via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2015-0259
Published: 2015-04-01
OpenStack Compute (Nova) before 2014.1.4, 2014.2.x before 2014.2.3, and kilo before kilo-3 does not validate the origin of websocket requests, which allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of users for access to consoles via a crafted webpage.

CVE-2015-0800
Published: 2015-04-01
The PRNG implementation in the DNS resolver in Mozilla Firefox (aka Fennec) before 37.0 on Android does not properly generate random numbers for query ID values and UDP source ports, which makes it easier for remote attackers to spoof DNS responses by guessing these numbers, a related issue to CVE-2...

CVE-2015-0801
Published: 2015-04-01
Mozilla Firefox before 37.0, Firefox ESR 31.x before 31.6, and Thunderbird before 31.6 allow remote attackers to bypass the Same Origin Policy and execute arbitrary JavaScript code with chrome privileges via vectors involving anchor navigation, a similar issue to CVE-2015-0818.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Good hackers--aka security researchers--are worried about the possible legal and professional ramifications of President Obama's new proposed crackdown on cyber criminals.