"Cyber war" declared on Israel

The only thing that is getting blown up in a “cyber war” which has erupted in Israel is a sense of all proportion. 

Computer hackers have disrupted access to the websites of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) and Israel’s flag carrier El Al Airlines.  The response has been a string of over the top statements from the airline’s press office claiming that the country was involved in a cyber war.

El Al has said in a statement that Israel has been attacked in a “cyber war for the last two weeks” and claim the attacks came from Saudi Arabia.

The site of El Al crashed, and the company said it was busy trying to overcome the problem. The stock exchange also said that there was an attack by hackers on the access routes to the (TASE) website.

Orna Goren, deputy manager of the exchange’s marketing and communications unit told Reuters that the stock exchange’s trading activities are operating normally.

The hacker in question is susposed to be the same person who published thousands of personal credit card details of Israelis, apparently gleaned from commercial websites in one of the worst cases of mass cyber identity theft experienced by Israel.

The hacker claimed to be from Saudi Arabia, but some security experts claimed the hacker was from South America.

So far, no one has claimed responsibility for today’s cyber attacks and it is probably not the same person, however that has not stopped El Al bumping up the “cyber war” rhetoric.

Already, the Israel government has threatened to respond militarily to defend its financial structures, but dumping white phosphorous shells on Saudi schools when the attacker might be in Brazil could be considered a little over the top. Besides, we are talking about three fairly minor hacks which, if they happened anywhere else in the world, would be shrugged off.

Israel opened an agency to tackle cyber attacks earlier this month. A founding member of the unit, Isaac Ben-Israel, said the country’s most vital systems were already protected, but that incidents like the ones seen recently would only increase.