Hackers hit private Israeli websites

Dozens of private Israeli websites were brought down by pro-Palestinian hackers, who failed to crash government websites as they had threatened.

Major government websites, including the Knesset, the Education Ministry and the government portal, were targeted April 7 by supporters of the international hacking group Anonymous, also identified as Anonghost, but were not brought down.

The hackers were successful in hacking the websites of Israeli musicians and nonprofit organizations, however. Among them were the official websites for popular Israeli singers Shalom Hanoch and Ivri Lider and the band Hadag Nahash, as well as the Israeli Center for Excellence through Education and the Israeli Urological Association. They displayed the words “Hacked by Anonghost” on their home pages.

The hackers also apparently leaked the private data of thousands of Israeli citizens beginning last week, the daily newspaper Haaretz reported.

Anonymous announced last month that it would target Israeli websites in a coordinated effort it called an “electronic Holocaust,” as it has done on April 7 for the past several years.

“This is a message to the foolish Zionist entities: We are coming back to punish you again for your crimes in the Palestinian territories, as we do every year on the 7th of April,” the video message posted last month on YouTube said. “All we see is continued aggression, bombing, killing and kidnapping of the Palestinian people.”

Anonymous launched an identical attack against Israel a year ago that brought down the websites of the country’s postal service and Education Ministry, as well as some private Israeli websites. The group also published online a list of phone numbers, emails and passwords of senior Israeli officials. The year before, the group took down dozens of websites and published a list of hundreds of Israeli email addresses and credit card numbers. — jta