Home inContext Mid-East Hackers Declare Cyber War

Mid-East Hackers Declare Cyber War

Erin Dwyer

A group of Israeli hackers calling themselves “IDF Team” brought down several Iranian websites Thursday in the latest chapter of the Middle East’s cyber war. Sites affected include Iran’s Press TV and the websites of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education. Other various Iranian sites were also hacked and their servers adjusted to display an Israeli flag and an anti-Arab message in English. The hackers explained that the sites would be shut down until further notice, adding: “Ahmadinejad what do you have to say about that?”

Israel Festival website after hack attack

IDF Team was acting in response to an Internet attack the previous night that targeted Tel Hashomer and Assuta — the two largest medical facilities in central Israel. Due to system security measures, however, which were able to detect the breach, the hacker’s attempts failed. Other Israeli websites were also hacked that evening including El Al Airlines, the Dan Bus Company, the Israel Festival, Israel’s CinemaTek, and Ha’aretz. Hackers replaced the homepages with anti-Israel and anti-Semitic texts, including: “Free Palestine, death to Israel” and “Jew=Nazi,” as well as a guarantee that “Four more Gilad Shalits will be abducted.” Websites were all restored within the hour.

Following Wednesday’s attacks, pro-Israel hacker “Hannibal” released what he referred to as a small portion of “confidential” documents in his possession on “the Iranian Army, Iranian government and citizens.” He also claimed to be working on hacking into Iran’s nuclear facilities’ websites.

As this blog previously noted, the cyber sphere will be the next frontier in warfare. With the potential for the War on Terror to slowly shift into a war on cyber-terrorism, it will be of utmost importance for America, Israel, and their allies to plan for this new field of war.