In one of the most devastating cyber-attacks in recent memory, the hacker collective Anonymous has wreaked havoc on Israel’s online infrastructure, bringing down websites belonging to several federal and municipal government agencies.
While death tolls continue to rise in Gaza, factions within the Anonymous hacker collective, in solidarity with Palestinians, began lashing out against Israeli websites Thursday night.
“Israel, all your base are belong to us,” tweeted YourAnonNews, using internet speak to denote total domination.
The collective has claimed that it brought down 600 Israeli sites since Operation Israel began. Hitting several .il domains, the collective also brought down several pro-Israel sites like unitedwithisrael.org, a global movement in support of Israel.
“Yes, over 9,000 websites are down or defaced right now for #OpIsrael. RT @Shaved_Llama: @YourAnonNews ITS OVER 9000!” tweeted the account YourAnonNews using the internet euphemism “over 9000” to denote a large number, not literally 9000.
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Not only has the collective temporarily shut down sites using distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, some sites have been deleted — wiped from the internet entirely. These sites include the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
According to the @AnonymousPress twitter account, the collective is working to ensure that internet access in Gaza is not suspended. Anonymous is also concerned that Israel will sever Gaza’s connection to the internet as a prelude to a large attack, stifling the release of footage and media coverage of such an operation.
“To the people of Gaza and the "Occupied Territories", know that Anonymous stands with you in this fight. We will do everything in our power to hinder the evil forces of the IDF arrayed against you. We will use all our resources to make certain you stay connected to the Internet and remain able to transmit your experiences to the world,” said the collective in a press release, translated in several languages, including Arabic.
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Anonymous has also released what was referred to as a “care package for Gaza.” The care package contains instructions for “aid” should Israel sever Gaza’s internet connection. It also contains information on how to evade IDF surveillance as well as a guide to basic first aid.