Islamist Groups Threaten 'Electronic Holocaust'
JERUSALEM, Israel -- For the third consecutive year, Op-Israel hackers are promising an "electronic Holocaust" against Israeli websites, credit card and email accounts.
A video posted on YouTube by a group calling itself AnonGhost, affiliated with the well-known global hacker Anonymous, warns Israelis to be ready for massive cyber-attacks on April 7.
Daniel Cohen, a research associate at the Israel Institute for National Security Studies Cyber Warfare Program (INSS), says the increasingly sophisticated hackers are affiliated with Islamist terror groups such as Hezbollah, the Lebanese-based Iranian proxy, and Hamas, the Palestinian faction controlling the Gaza Strip, which is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.
"These groups call themselves anonymous, but in reality the Op-Israel hackers responsible for the actions are mostly from the Middle East, with connections to our local conflict," Cohen said.
Last year the Islamist groups defaced websites and claimed to post credit card information of hundreds of Israelis on the Internet. Their threats proved vacuous as the information was already available to the public.
Cyber warfare experts say the hackers capitalize on psychological warfare.
During last summer's military incursion into the Gaza Strip, Israeli hackers retaliated by accessing Skype accounts and exposing some of the individuals behind the attacks.
Meanwhile, the U.S.-Israel Defensive Cyberspace Operations and Intelligence conference will take place in Washington, D.C., on April 27-28.
The two-day conference features an impressive list of international cyber experts covering many facets of global cyber security.
INSS Cyber Security Program director Col. (res.) Gabi Siboni, one of the conference organizers, is proud of Israel's contribution to cyber security and its partnership with its American counterparts.
Siboni told The Jerusalem Post Israeli and U.S. companies "are real business partners."
"Everyone who deals in defense, national security, corporate or financial sites and critical infrastructure wants to defend themselves," Siboni said. "Targets have become highly accessible. This is happening everywhere in the world, including Israel."