Since the seventh of October, the violence in Israel has been supplemented with a number of interventions in cyberspace. Responsibility for many of these incidents has been claimed by a number of “hacktivist” cyber auxiliaries, several of them traditionally aligned with Russia.
I’ll put my caveat in here that I have my own feelings about Israel and Palestine. In my personal life, I’ve been very supportive of Palestine. On here, I actually started an article related to Israel’s awful surveillance state that will be revisited in the intermediate future. Failure to call out Israel in the past is on me as a writer. I’ll own it. That said, I’m never going to be okay with the intentional massacring of civilians, sexual violence, or taking of civilian hostages.
Several of the attacks have come from the usual regional suspects: groups such as Cyber Av3ngers and Ghost of Palestine. What is somewhat unexpected is the alleged involvement of groups such as KillNet and Anonymous Sudan.
Israeli government, you are guilty of this bloodshed. Back in 2022, you supported the terrorist regime of Ukraine. You betrayed Russia. Today Kilant officially informs you about it! All Israeli government systems will be subject to our attacks! WE ARE KILNET.
As reports keep coming in about more cyber attacks, the following are some of the more dangerous events that have been corroborated by both Israeli and pro-Hamas actors. Some of these are incredibly dangerous and reckless, and it should be understood just how much they could increase the harm to civilians.
Israel’s RedAlert app, a real-time rocket attack monitoring application, has experienced outages since the violence began on Saturday, seemingly due to a Denial of Service (DoS) attack. Statements released by Anonymous Sudan, hint at the outages commencing around 0650 CET on 7 October, though it doesn’t conclusively point to the group’s involvement. The danger should be obvious to such an essential service being taken down as rockets land all over the country.
Screenshot of what the app allegedly showed on the night of 7 October
On Saturday night, multiple statements were put forth by several pro-Palestinian hacktivist factions, attempting to own the alleged DDoSing of numerous servers linked to Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system. This assertion stands in opposition to the rumors spread across social media platforms, suggesting a direct targeting of Iron Dome by Iran—a situation that, if validated, would mark a significant escalation in the Islamic Republic’s engagement.
Diagram of Durad Powerstation posted to Cyber Av3ngers’ Telegram
A pro-Hamas hacktivist collective named Cyber Av3ngers directed their focus on the Israel Independent System Operator (NOGA), a body governing the power grid, professing to have infiltrated its network and disrupted its website. The attacks extended to the Israel Electric Corporation, a principal electricity provider in Israel and the Palestinian territories. On Sunday, the group disseminated statements hinting at a specific target—the Durad power station situated in Ashkelon.
KillNet, the for-profit Russian hacktivist collective, was actively involved in the shutting down of several government servers. Of particular concern were those of the main government portal of Israel and the website of Israel’s General Security Service (known as Shabak).
On the information front, as of 1500 on Monday, the primary website of the Jerusalem Post remained inaccessible, also presumably due to a DDoS attack, with no group having credibly claimed responsibility yet. As the violence unfolded over the weekend, a number of confused messages were distributed regarding where to go for safety. Disabling a news service as popular as the Jerusalem Post only serves to compound the issue.
This is an evolving situation, and there are more attacks that I haven’t added to this list, either because I couldn’t independently corroborate them with multiple sources, or I felt that insufficient proof of harm was provided by the groups claiming responsibility for them.