Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

2 Web Sites in Israel Are the Targets of Cyberattacks ; Hacker Disrupts Access to National Airline and Tel Aviv Stock Exchange

Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

2 Web Sites in Israel Are the Targets of Cyberattacks ; Hacker Disrupts Access to National Airline and Tel Aviv Stock Exchange

Article excerpt

Unknown attackers on Monday disrupted access to the Web sites of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and El Al, the national airline. But neither Israel's economy nor any flight was endangered.

Israel faced an escalating cyberwar on Monday as unknown attackers disrupted access to the symbolically strategic Web sites of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and El Al, the Israeli national airline.

A hacker identifying himself as oxOmar, who is already notorious for posting the details of more than 20,000 Israeli credit cards, sent an overnight warning to the Israeli news outlet Ynet that a group of pro-Palestinian cyberattackers called Nightmare planned to bring down the sites in the morning.

The attackers did not break into the sites' operating systems, but used a far simpler tactic: creating an overload of access attempts. Neither Israel's economy nor any flight in and out of the country was endangered, and the sites appeared to be recovering within hours, but the assault left many Israelis feeling vulnerable.

Yoni Shemesh, who is responsible for the Web site of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, said his team had already began preparing for an attack a few days ago and went on high alert after the Ynet report.

"We are putting up blocks to the hackers," Mr. Shemesh told Israel Radio at noon, about three hours after the attack started. "It is a real cyberwar."

El Al said it took down its site as a cautionary measure as soon as unusual activity was noticed about 10 a.m.

The Web site usually sees about 50 simultaneous access requests at any given moment in the morning hour, an airline spokeswoman said, speaking anonymously as required by company policy. …

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