In waging cyberattacks against Israel, Anonymous is bringing a knife to a gunfight.
The loosely organized hacker group pledged its support for Gaza last week, then set about attacking the enemy. The news arm of Anonymous immediately got to boasting on Twitter, but there isn’t much to show for all of the talk. Over at Gizmodo, Sam Biddle breaks down the actual damage done so far. Anonymous has defaced or deactivated over 600 websites that have a .il domain suffix, but these were mostly small businesses with no connection to the government or military.
Anonymous’s biggest successful takedown was the Bank of Jerusalem; the bank’s site was back up the same day. In addition, more than 44 million hacking attempts have been made on Israeli government websites since the start of the offensive, but just one site was taken down and only for 10 minutes.
Even if Anonymous or other hackers were to step up their attacks, Israel is one of the most prepared countries when it comes to web defense. At a security conference in Tel Aviv this summer, Ehud Barak, the defense minister, said Israel is working to become a “world leader in cyber capabilities, in the defense establishment and in the civil sector.”
The most damaging cyber-attack in history was the highly sophisticated Stuxnet worm, created by Israel and the United States, which destroyed parts of Iran’s nuclear facilities. A group of increasingly unorganized hackers probably doesn’t have a chance at inflicting any real damage on Israel.