Recent cyber-attacks against Israel fail to bring major sites down

The recent wave of cyber-attacks launched by anti-Israel hackers on the eve of Holocaust day has not succeeded to bring major sites down, though the websites of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office and his Likud party were temporarily down on Tuesday.

Since the eve of Holocaust Day, there have been at least a thousand attempts per day to breach into Israeli websites and though attackers have succeeded in some cases, they have only been able to penetrate small websites and less than five big ones.

"They managed to bring down these two sites with a Denial of Service, which overloads the page, but we fixed it quickly," Roni Bashar, the head of the cyber division at Avnet security told Xinhua. Avnet is managing the cyber-security of many big sites in Israel.

"They caused a problem in the database that was easily solved," Bashar said. According to the web security expert, most of these hackers are amateurs and they only managed to cause some damage to private websites that didn't have any security.

"Their attack was a failure because they were only able to bring down or extract information from small websites owned by private citizens, like blogs, or business sites, and they didn't cause any real damage," he said.

Bashar pointed out that over 6,000 websites were targeted since Saturday. "Out of all these sites only 100 were affected, but all of them small. For example, a hairdresser from Haifa had his website full of Koranic verses," Yael Shahar, director of Database and Internet Project at IDC Herzliya Institute for Counter-Terrorism told Xinhua.

"They really stand no chance to break into any big sites since they are not sophisticated and mainly kids in their late teens," Shahar said,

Most of the attacks are coming from North Africa, Middle East and Gulf countries, experts said, which has provided them with an insight of the members of the so called-group Anonymous, who threatened to launch a massive cyber-attack against Israel at the beginning of the month.

There is an unprecedented mass cyber-warfare campaign last November. Hackers mounting a record 44 million attempts to break into the Israeli government and private websites in less than a week, the government said. The hackers claim that the attack is in solidarity with Palestinians under Israeli occupation, who cannot freely access the Internet.