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Steinitz: Israel beat back 43, 999, 999 and a half cyber attacks
From: InfoSec News <alerts () infosecnews org>
Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2012 04:06:06 -0600 (CST)

http://www.timesofisrael.com/steinitz-israel-beat-back-43999999-and-a-half-cyber-attacks/

By David Shamah
The Times of Israel
November 19, 2012

Ever since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense, hackers have been working overtime to strike a blow against the Israeli government’s computer systems, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said Sunday. No fewer than 44 million attacks have been recorded since the operation began five days ago — with nearly all of them failing, thanks to the recent strengthening of computer defense systems in Israel.

Speaking at a special press conference at the Government Computing Center in Jerusalem about the cyber war against Israel that has accompanied Hamas’s rocket attacks, Steinitz said that hackers “are trying to disable the symbols of Israeli sovereignty, to enter web sites and install anti-Israel content, thus compromising information and data and damaging the government’s ability to serve the public.” Most of the attacks, he said, were against government sites, like the Prime Minister’s Office site, and security-related sites, such as that of the Home Front Command, the body charged with informing Israelis on how to protect themselves in the event of an attack.

Out of those 44 million-plus attacks on government and defense related sites, said Steinitz, only one succeeded – partially. One site, which he did not name, was “wobbly for a few minutes,” but quickly recovered. Even though the government has been successful in warding off hack attacks, Steinitz said that government sites were fully backed up and mirrored, meaning that they could be replaced by a duplicate site instantly if the original site were compromised.

So just who is behind the attacks? Steinitz said that the government’s computing unit had traced many of the attacks to IP addresses in the US and Europe, and not to Arab countries. While Steinitz could not say whether these hackers were affiliated with Anonymous, the international hacker organization that has pledged to destroy Israel’s computing system in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, the methods being used by the hackers were consistent with the kinds of attacks Anonymous is known for.

[...]

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