Since Saturday, October 7, more than a hundred websites in Israel have been damaged or are out of service. The post-attack crisis continues and organized groups of hacktivists, cybercriminals and digital terrorists carry out attacks to affect social sentiment, create terror and undermine the confidence of citizens with demonstrations of hatred against democracy and life.
Attacks include an early warning app that warns Israelis of rocket launches, false flag operations and fake news. At the same time, it is surprising that anti-Semitic expressions on social networks and platforms have not canceled Hamas’s call for an attack on Jewish-Israeli aims, democracy and life itself. The instability and passivity in this aspect is unaffected by the demand for moderation and order.
Protecting anonymity on the darkweb and now Telegram is an indispensable tool for criminal activity. Publics and myths maintain the probability that these resources will serve as a liberated zone for counterintelligence units to operate freely. The situation takes on unusual aspects, especially when it comes to Israel, a power in security matters.
Hundreds of civilians killed and 200 kidnapped from 41 different countries speak volumes for the gravity of the situation. For the first time, it uses technological resources as a weapon, using threats and harassment that includes bombings of people combined with hacking of digital screens, projecting pro-Hamas content on the streets of Tel Aviv for minutes at a time. .
These attacks include defacing and altering websites or denial of service attacks that crash servers, all close to typical propaganda pyrotechnics and – fortunately – without significant damage. However, attempts to affect critical infrastructure continue, and threats and harassment of vital services such as water supply may be real.
Cyber extremists supporting Hamas and Iran openly announce increasing cyber attacks and information manipulation operations around the world and against Israel. In line with the method used by the Nazis in the hands of their propaganda minister in World War II, the motivation is more to affect fear, terror, morale and confidence than significant damage.
Companies, security agencies, governments and market members agree that the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Defense (MOIS) is behind the “OilRig” group, which has used a variety of tools to launch attacks against Israeli structures since 2021 and 2022. While cyber intelligence activities and preparation for the 10/7 attack could go back a few years, both campaigns involved the use of two backdoors to collect confidential information and Windows access credentials.
The “Storm-0133” gang, associated with MOIS, targets Israeli local government agencies and organizations serving the security, human resources, health and hygiene industries. Installs phishing lures, downloads malware and collects information, which is then used to gather login credentials, cookies and browser history, admin and super user profiles.
These days, computer technology is used as a virtual weapon with the aim of psychologically damaging, harassing, misinforming and confusing the enemy, which in this case is being used by a new type of aggressor: terrorists.