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Cyberattack Downs Hundreds of Israeli Websites

Hundreds of Israeli websites belonging to political groups, businesses and other organizations were hit by a cyberattack on Thursday morning. It came after the Jewish state was blamed for a cyberattack on an Iranian port in the city of Bandar Abbas, which brought the Shahid Rajaee terminal to an abrupt halt on May 9. That, in turn, followed a similar Tehran-attributed effort in late April to damage Israel’s potable water supply, which according to local media was viewed by Jerusalem as a serious escalation due to the nature of the target. It remains unclear who perpetrated Thursday’s attack, although one security expert linked it groups with ties to North African countries, Turkey and the Gaza Strip. The attack comes ahead of Quds Day, an annual anti-Israel event inaugurated by Iran that coincides with Jerusalem Day, which commemorates the Jewish state’s capture of the eastern part of the holy city in the 1967 war. The targeted websites displayed the phrases “Be ready for a big surprise” and “The countdown of Israel destruction has begun since a long time ago [sic].” A video seemed to show explosions in Tel Aviv and an injured Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu swimming away from the city. The end of the video featured the logo of a group called “Hackers of Savior.” Israel’s National Cyber Directorate said no damage had been done to official state infrastructure.