Hackers Paralyze Israeli Hospital Websites, as Cyber War Heats Up

Latest round of cyber attacks comes weeks after pro-Palestinian hackers immobilize websites of Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and Israel's El-Al International Airlines.

Hackers attacked the websites of two Israeli hospitals on Wednesday, managing to bring down the sites for several hours in the latest round of the ongoing cyber war between pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian hackers.

According to the Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, the Mossad identified multiple attempts to break into the hospital’s website, similar to previous cyber attacks on websites of important Israeli institutions.

Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer.Tomer Appelbaum

As a result, Sheba’s website was paralyzed for several hours, saying that its security system is “attempting to identify the source of attack the problem in order to block threatening activity.”

The Sheba website, as well as that of Assouta Medical Center, Tel Aviv were able to be fully recovered, however, the extent of the damage caused to the patients’ personal files has yet to be seen.

Also on Wednesday, the website of the Israel Festival was brought down. Pro-Palestinian hackers wrote "Free Palestine" in several parts of the site, and featured an image of the Israeli and American flag burning.

Pro-Palestinian hackers' message on the Israel Festival website, January 25, 2012.

The cyber war kicked off in early January, when a hacker calling himself "OxOmar" published online the credit card details of thousands of Israelis, after breaking into what he said were more than 80 Israeli servers.

He said he was then joined by a group calling itself Nightmare, and went on to paralyze several Israeli websites, including that of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and Israel's El-Al International Airlines.

Pro-Israel hackers, for their part, published the log-in details of 20,000 Arab Facebook users, and said they had taken down websites in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

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