Hackers Hit Israel Prime Minister Office Website

Other websites of large Israeli institutions and businesses were also attacked yesterday. Attacks could be a prelude to a further, broader attack today.

Inbal Orpaz
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Inbal Orpaz

The website of the Prime Minister's Office was attacked by hackers yesterday afternoon and was intermittently unavailable for about an hour. Information security experts said it was a distributed denial-of-service attack, in which tens of thousands of computers attack a website at the same time in an attempt to prevent the site from providing services.

"There was a communications problem that lasted for a few minutes and was corrected immediately," the PMO stated.

An Anonymous hacker.Credit: AP

Other websites of large Israeli institutions and businesses were also attacked yesterday. These attacks could be a prelude to a further, broader attack today.

On Friday, the hacker organization Anonymous announced in a Youtube video that its next target would be Israel. The organization accused Israel of committing "crimes against humanity," and criticized it for its treatment of Palestinians.

"Through the use of media deception and political bribery, you have amassed the sympathies of many. You claim to be democratic, yet in reality this is far from the truth. In fact, your only goal is to better the lives of a select few while carelessly trampling the liberties of the masses," says the clip's computer-generated narrator to the background of ominous music.

The video clip also threatens to start a crusade against Israel that will take the form of three steps, revealing only that the first of these steps will attempt to systematically remove Israel from the Internet.

Israel has been under attack by hackers for the past few weeks. Last week, the sites of the Yedioth Ahronoth group were attacked. Earlier, hackers broke into a number of online sales sites and released credit card and other details of thousands of Israelis. Other sites attacked included the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, El Al and Haaretz.

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