Anonymous is an organisation that does not restrict its membership by ethnicity, race, nationality, creed or class. As a result, the actions of some Anons are not representative of the entire collective. Actions to attempt to link Anonymous to some organisation for an uncertain agenda, ISIS for example, are done entirely at the behest of individuals. Hence although some actions have the backing of the collective, others are attempted by independent groups of Anons. The reader should keep this in mind as he reads this article; back to the matter at hand.
Israeli authorities claim that hackers have attacked the country’s websites. The alleged attack comes days after hacktivists, who stated that they were from Anonymous, threatened Israel with “the electronic holocaust” which would “erase it from cyberspace” on April 7 for “crimes” in Palestine. Great sentiment and all, but just because it’s got to do with Israel doth not make it a “holocaust”… Maybe call it Israel-Retribution-For-Murdering-2000-Civillians next time?
Israel’s Computer Emergency Response Team alleged that Anonymous have targeted dozens of websites belonging to Israeli musicians and non-profit organizations, adding that the governmental websites were not affected. How strange that the primary perpetrators of the gazan massacres go unpunished… According to Israel anyway… According to the Middle East Eye news portal, however, several government websites were hacked, including that of the country’s parliament, the Knesset, the court system and the Education Ministry.
It has been claimed that at least 150,000 phone numbers, Facebook, Gmail and Hotmail accounts have been hacked by this group, according to the Twitter account of #OpIsrael. Also, the hacked websites were replaced with photos of a Muslim holy site in Jerusalem and of militants holding the Islamic State militant flag. The hackers left a message signed by “AnonGhost”, a group that has a particular vendetta for Israel and claims allegiance to ISIS, while claiming to be Anonymous at the same time.
Hacking experts told Arutz Sheva, an Israeli media network, that the hack was carried out mainly by hackers in Morocco and Saudi Arabia.
In its March 4 video, the group that claims affiliation with Anonymous threatened Israel with “the electronic holocaust” which, the group vowed, would “erase it from cyberspace” back for “crimes” in Palestine. A masked figure is observed addresses the Israeli government, saying that it has not “stopped…endless human right violations” and “illegal settlements.”
“You killed thousands of people, as in the last war against Gaza in 2014. You have shown that you do NOT respect international law,” the faux-mechanical voice says.“We are coming back to punish you again,” the video vows.
The video message, delivered in English with Arabic subtitles, displays images from the Gaza conflict, including those showing the air strikes on the territory during the Israel Defence Forces’ Operation Protective Edge last summer.
“As we did many times, we’ll take down your servers, government websites, Israeli military websites, banks, and public institutions. We’ll erase you from cyber-space as we have every year, 7 April 2015, will be an electronic holocaust,” it adds.
The hackers promised to carry out cyber-attacks on Israeli devices, websites and personal data will continue “until the people of Palestine are free.”
In April 2013 the hacktivist group claimed that a similar OpIsrael attack caused $3 billion worth of damage to Israel, when it targeted over 100,000 websites, 40,000 Facebook pages, 5,000 Twitter accounts and 30,000 Israeli bank accounts. The government, however, said that there were no major disruptions. The past summer alone, AnonGhost targeted Israel several times protesting Israel’s military incursion in Gaza. Anonymous generally uses DDOS (distributed denial of service attacks) that overload a website with fake requests, making it unavailable for all users.
Israel has been severely criticized for its political decisions amid the 2014 war in Gaza, which claimed the lives of more than 2,200 Palestinians, most of whom were civilians, and over 70 Israelis, most of whom were soldiers. The conflict ended with a truce between Israel and Hamas on August 26. It should be noted that although this group is acting on a good principle, its attempts at linking Anonymous to ISIS and coinage of terms like “Electronic Holocaust” are certainly worrisome. Attempts at linking Anonymous as a whole to these actions in order to vilify the group are already underway. Some news sites choose to differentiate between the two, often quoting Benjamin T. Decker senior intelligence analyst at Tel Aviv-based geopolitical risk consultancy the Levantine Group:
According to Newsweek:
Benjamin T. Decker…“The ‘electronic Holocaust’ has not had the grandiose impact of erasing Israel from the internet,” he says. “It’s important to note that this is being led exclusively by the Middle Eastern contingent of Anonymous, rather than the entirety of the organisation.”
Others have chosen not to make the distinction.