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Hacktivists stoke Israel-Gaza conflict online


“The attackers have managed to knock us offline for extended periods over the past few days,” Jerusalem Post Editor-in-chief Avi Mayer said in an email. “This is a blatant assault on freedom of the press.”

Israel’s Computer Emergency Response Team, or CERT, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

It is often difficult to determine the accuracy of hacktivists’ claims. The same dynamic played out in the wake of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which saw a volunteer army of pro-Ukraine hackers claim credit for numerous attacks on Russian websites and other online services.

Analysts do however expect significant cyberespionage activity to happen behind the scenes.

Last week, Microsoft released a report which recorded how one Gaza-based hacker group known as Storm-1133 had ramped up its cyber spying efforts on Israeli companies involved in telecommunications, defence and energy earlier this year.

“We assess this group works to further the interests of Hamas,” the report stated.

Omri Segev Moyal, the chief executive of Israel cybersecurity firm Profero, said his firm had recently picked up some hacking activity tied to an Iranian spy group nicknamed Muddy Water and intrusion attempts potentially linked to Molerats, another group that researchers believe acts for Hamas.

Molerats’ activity “stopped after the bombing started”, he said.

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