Hacking Attempts on Israeli Targets Increased Five-fold During Gaza War

Denial of Service attacks on Israeli networks and servers reached unprecedented levels of size and duration during Operation Protective Edge.

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Hackers (illustrative).
Hackers (illustrative). Credit: Dreamstime

Hacking attempts against Israeli networks and servers increased more than five-fold during the war in Gaza, according to a report released this week by network security specialists Arbor Networks.

Just about all the attacks were Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks, in which the hackers attempt to overwhelm and shut down a server by directing an unsustainable volume of requests at it.

The volume of attacks began to rise in the first week of July, going from an average of 30 attacks per day in June to 150 attacks per day in July. The onslaught peaked on July 21, when 429 attacks were recorded.

Attacks dropped precipitously on July 28, the day that an ultimately unsuccessful cease-fire was due to go into effect, and started rising again on August 3.

Not only the number of attacks was unprecedented during July. They were also unusual in size (the traffic directed at a specific server) and duration.

In June, no attack exceeded 12 Gbps. In July, seven attacks exceeded 12 Gbps, with the largest peaking at 22.56 Gbps on July 12.. The largest attack of all – at 29 Gbps – came on August 3, after cease-fire talks collapsed.

The average duration of an attack in June was 20 minutes with a peak duration of 24 hours. In July, the average duration was one hour and 39 minutes. An attack launched on July 19 was still in progress when the report was written, after approximately two weeks.

The report concludes that the number, size and duration of the DDoS attacks targeting Israel were proportional to the intensity of the conflict. The attackers, it says, appear to have made an effort to adhere to the real world calls for a cease-fire, resuming their attacks when the cease-fire ended or collapsed.

In all, Israel was targeted by 5,346 DDOS attacks during the duration of the fighting.

The frequency of DDOS attacks on Israel.Credit: Screenshot

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