Israeli websites were disrupted on a wide-scale by noon on Sunday, the day that hackers affiliated with the Anonymous group vowed to protest Israeli policies in Gaza and the West Bank by wiping Israel "off the map of the Internet," but the damage appeared minimal.
Some small websites were shut down in the attack, and the few major sites that were hit were affected only briefly. Meanwhile, Israel's Internet service providers have said they expect locals to experience difficulty accessing Israeli websites Sunday.
The hackers behind the so-called "Operation Israel" on Sunday released a list of email addresses and credit card numbers they said had been lifted from the online catalog of Israel Military, a privately owned business that sells military surplus. Israel Military said the information made public did not come from its site.
The Israel Police website was one target of the cyber attack, which began a day before the threatened large-scale virtual invasion, but the site had difficulties loading for only a short time before going back to normal.
Hackers reported Saturday night that they had shut down several government sites, including those of the Prime Minister's Office, the Israel Securities Authority, the Immigrant Absorption Ministry and the Central Bureau of Statistics, but the government denies the claim. Those sites – as well as defense-related ones reported down, such as the Defense Ministry, the Mossad and Israel Military Industries – were operating normally Sunday, so if they were hacked, any damage appears to have been fleeting.
A source at the Defense Ministry on Sunday confirmed that its site had been hacked for several minutes in the early morning hours, but its service has since been restored. Additional attempts to hack the site have failed.
In addition, some of the sites the hackers said they brought down are accessed through outdated links.
A message from a Twitter account linked to Anonymous said Israel Defense Forces troops were arresting suspected hackers, a report the IDF spokesman also denied.YNet (via al-AP) adds:
Yitzhak Ben Yisrael, of the government's National Cyber Bureau, said hackers had mostly failed to shut down key sites.
"So far it is as was expected, there is hardly any real damage," Ben Yisrael said. "Anonymous doesn't have the skills to damage the country's vital infrastructure. And if that was its intention, then it wouldn't have announced the attack ahead of time. It wants to create noise in the media about issues that are close to its heart," he said.And Elder of Ziyon reports that one claim that I published last night was not accomplished by hacking but by some clever domain name purchasing.
Posters using the name of the hacking group Anonymous had warned they would launch a massive attack on Israeli sites in a strike they called OpIsrael starting April 7.
Israel's Bureau of Statistics was down on Sunday morning but it was unclear if it was hacked. Media said the sites of the Defense and Education Ministry as well as banks had come under attack the night before but they were mostly repelled.
On the Israeli side, people are reporting that the main domain of OpIsrael, the group spearheading the hacking effort, was hacked itself by a Zionist hacker. This does not seem to be correct; it looks like some Zionist simply bought the OpIsrael.com domain a couple of days ago and set up the page to appear "hacked" when it was never the webpage of the anti-Israel hackers. This is their page./sigh.