Hackers have launched an assault on Israeli websites, but the damage has
been minimal as the Jewish state is prepared to fend off such attacks,
one of the country's top cyber experts said on Sunday.
associated with the activist group Anonymous reportedly hit the websites
of the premier's office, the defence ministry, the education ministry
and the Central Bureau of Statistics, among others, but all appeared to
be running normally.
Speaking to army radio, Professor Yitzhak ben
Israel, head of the National Council for Research and Development, said
the scope of the damage was "more or less non-existent".
because of our preparedness in advance," said Ben Israel, who founded
the National Cyber Bureau which operates out of the office of Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Ben Israel said it was highly unlikely Anonymous was seeking to do real damage to the country's key infrastructure.
doesn't have the ability, nor is it its aim to destroy the country's
essential infrastructure. If it was, it wouldn't have announced it in
advance," he said, indicating the aim was likely to stir debate over the
"The country was much better
prepared than it was a year ago when there was a wave of attacks on the
stock exchange and El Al (Airlines) and such sites.
"This time the
attack is bigger in its scope and intensity but we are better
prepared," he said, referring to an attack on prominent Israeli websites
at the start of 2012.
Guy Mizrahi, co-founder of Israeli data
protection consultancy Cyberia, confirmed Israeli websites had been
under a "significant attack" for the past few days.
there was quite a storm, quite a few government sites were hacked and
messages were left on some of them, and data was stolen from others," he
told public radio.
"It doesn't mean that Israel is being thrown
off the Internet or that the traffic lights will stop working tomorrow,
but it is certainly a significant attack."
Last November, as
Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza faced off in an eight-day
confrontation, the Jewish state said it had been targeted by an
"unprecedented" mass cyber-warfare campaign.
At the time,
Anonymous claimed it had downed or erased the databases of nearly 700
Israeli sites in protest over the assault and over what it said was
Israeli threats to cut "all Internet and other telecommunications into
and out of Gaza."