The heart of tech

This article was published on January 17, 2012


    Hackers used thousands of Israeli computers to take down the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange website

    Hackers used thousands of Israeli computers to take down the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange website
    Nancy Messieh
    Story by

    Nancy Messieh

    Lesotho-born and raised, Nancy Messieh, The Next Web's Middle East Editor, is an Egyptian writer and photographer based in Cairo, Egypt. Fol Lesotho-born and raised, Nancy Messieh, The Next Web's Middle East Editor, is an Egyptian writer and photographer based in Cairo, Egypt. Follow her on Twitter, her site or Google+ or get in touch at [email protected]

    As the attacks on Israel’s cyberspace continue, including the most recent attack on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and airline El Al websites, security experts are hard at work to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

    Haaretz reports that the founder of the computer security company, Check Point Software Technologies, Gil Shwed, has discovered that the attacks, while launched abroad, also took control of computers within Israel itself.

    Speaking to Haaretz, Shwed said,

    “A considerable part of the computers that attacked us originated in Israel. That’s precisely what a bot is. Unlike traditional viruses, these bots do a good job of hiding themselves, which is why we developed the anti-bot.”

    He added that Monday’s attack was carried out using thousands of computers, half of which are in Israel. Shwed explains:

    “These recent attacks have been sophisticated. While the assailant was probably not Israeli, he did use Israeli computers. It’s similar to what happened last year with Sony. There were some significant attacks on Sony, with a ‘small squad’ stealing information off the side.”

    Ynet reports that several Israeli banks considered blocking International access to their sites entirely, a move that would have a detrimental effect on international customers, or Israelis based abroad. The Israeli Bank took the more moderate approach of blocking IP addresses from 3 specific countries – Saudi Arabia, Iran and Algeria.

    The attack on official Israeli websites was preceded by a Saudi hacker, OxOmar, revealing the information of thousands of Israeli credit card holders, while Israeli hacker OxOmer was quick to retaliate, releasing the information of hundreds of credit card holders in the Gulf region. A Pro-Israel hacker, Hannibal, who isn’t based in the country, has also retaliated by revealing the log-in details of 20,000 Facebook users, claiming that he is in possession of millions more.