Several Israeli government websites, including the ministry of health, interior, justice, welfare and the Prime minister’s website, were taken down in a DDoS attack on Monday evening. According to the Israeli National Cyber Directorate, all affected websites are back online.
The government hasn’t named the attackers yet but has confirmed that the sites were hit with a DDoS attack. While the homepages of some websites were down, subdomains were still accessible. According to Haaretz, sites with a gov.il domain were targeted, and chances are there’s a state-sponsored or large organisation behind the attacks.
An Iran-linked hacker group has taken credit, according to DW. This is most likely retaliation for an alleged Israeli operation against an Iranian nuclear site. None of these has been confirmed, however.
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State sponsored or just off shore trouble?
The National Cyber Directorate and the defence establishment have announced a state of emergency and are currently investigating the extent of the damage done. Other critical websites and infrastructure, including those of the country’s water and electricity companies, are also being checked for any attacks.
Attacking a nation’s critical online infrastructure is becoming a standard weapon for hacking groups and other governments alike. However, as compared to the cyberattacks against Ukraine in the currently ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, these attacks seem to have done little more than restrict access to attacked websites for a short period. There’s no evidence that the attackers responsible for these attacks either defaced the websites or stole data at the moment.
Israel isn’t anyone to mess with in cyberspace, either. However, it doesn’t seem to be a good time for them, considering the NSO Pegasus debacles and its ongoing tensions with Iran.
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