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08 November 2011, 10:26

Speculation over Anonymous attacks on Israel

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Following specific threats from Anonymous, a number of Israeli government web sites went offline, including those of the Israel Defense Force (IDF), Israeli foreign ministry and Mossad and Shin Bet intelligence agencies. The Israeli government is denying any link.

The web site failures came after threats from international hacker collective Anonymous. On Friday, the activists released a video and announced that they would be taking down the army, intelligence service and other government agency web sites on Sunday, should the Israeli navy again stop the "humanitarian vessels to Gaza". The message states that: "We will not tolerate this repeated offence behaviour against unarmed civilians."

According to Israeli newspaper, a number of Israeli government servers were taken down by attacks over the weekend. The government is, however, denying that the downtime had anything "to do with an attack, threat or hacking". Ziv Slater, deputy director of the government's Information Technology Unit, claimed that a malfunction on a server was responsible for the failure of several government web sites. Slater denied that the web sites had been hacked and said that "Our best minds are working to fix the problem".

The background to the events is the interception of the Gaza flotilla from Canada and Ireland on Friday when Israeli soldiers boarded two boats containing pro-Palestinian activists. The activist's objective was to protest against what they consider to be an illegal naval blockade of the Palestinian territories along the Mediterranean Sea. Last May, Israel established a national task force to combat "cyber-terrorism", with the aim of protecting strategic computer networks from foreign powers.


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