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Updated December 19th, 2023 at 17:47 IST

Hamas and Iranian hackers target Israelis' stress with cyberattacks

The Israel National Cyber Directorate declared that Iran and Hezbollah had orchestrated an attempted cyberattack on the Ziv Medical Centre in Safed.

Cyberattacks
Cyberattacks | Image:Unsplash
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The Israel National Cyber Directorate declared that Iran and Hezbollah had orchestrated an attempted cyberattack on the Ziv Medical Centre in Safed in late November, on Monday. The INCD reported that the hospital operations were successfully defended, preventing any disruption to citizens' medical treatment. Nevertheless, the attackers succeeded in extracting private data stored in the hospital's systems, reported ANI.

Hamas cyberattacks during Israel-Hamas conflict

Here's what we know:

The Israel National Cyber Directorate (INCD) revealed on Monday that Iran and Hezbollah attempted a cyberattack on the Ziv Medical Centre in Safed in late November.

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INCD Defense and Distinction:

  • While INCD defends Israeli civilian and government cyberspace, military cybersecurity operates differently.
  • Computers with sensitive information in the military are typically not connected to the internet, and soldiers in Gaza are prohibited from carrying cell phones for security reasons.

Hamas's Multi-Pronged Cyberattack:

  • During the Israel-Hamas conflict, Hamas executed a multi-pronged attack, including ground invasion, naval actions, air assaults, and cyberspace attacks.
  • The goal was to sow confusion among civilians seeking shelter from rocket attacks, providing cover for the ground invasion.

Tampering with Red Alert Application:

  • Hamas targeted the Red Alert application, disrupting the system that informs Israelis about incoming rocket fire.
  • The terrorists attempted to crash the server hosting the Red Alert app through a distributed denial-of-service attack.
  • Additionally, a fake Red Alert application was created and uploaded to the Google Play store, potentially stealing sensitive information.

Impersonation and Fear Tactics:

  • Hackers used impersonation tactics to spread fear, sending text messages to Israelis with misleading information.
  • State-sponsored groups, including those in Iran, possess serious cybersecurity capabilities and can potentially harm critical infrastructure.

Financial Fraud and AI Manipulation:

  • Hackers engaged in financial fraud, exploiting initiatives to raise funds for soldiers and victims.
  • Artificial intelligence was used to create a realistic Hebrew-language website for fraudulent donation solicitations.

Israeli Cyber Defense and Countermeasures:

  • Israel has been successful in fending off cyberattacks, especially those that could result in physical harm.
  • Initiatives to counter fraudulent activities and protect sensitive information have been implemented.

Global Implications:

  • Cyberattacks initially targeting Israel during the conflict expanded to include Western targets, such as major U.S. news organizations.
  • The narrative conveyed by attackers suggests a campaign against the entire Western world. 
  • While Hamas and allies engaged in cyber warfare during the conflict, Israel's cybersecurity measures have proven effective in mitigating potential threats and attacks.
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Published December 19th, 2023 at 17:47 IST

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