The Tel Aviv stock exchange was targeted by hackers. Photograph: Oliver Weiken/EPA
The websites of Israel's national carrier El Al Airline, the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, and the First International Bank of Israel including two subsidiary banks were all paralyzed on Monday by a cyber attack.
A hacker (or network of hackers) identified as "Nightmare" was the culprit, according to an email exchange between the Jerusalem Post and the hacker 0xOmar who claimed this attacker "answered his call to attack Israel".
This cyber attack follows on the heels of two others previously reported here; the "Gaza Hackers Team" who took over the Israeli fire services website, as well as hacker 0xOmar's cyber attack on Israeli online shoppers .
The websites affected today were targeted by a DOS attack-- denial of service--in which computers taken over by trojan horses were ordered to visit the targeted websites. The result was flooding the servers with requests, thereby making them unavailable to legitimate users.
JERUSALEM—A hacker network that claims to be based in Saudi Arabia paralyzed the websites of Israel's stock exchange and national airline on Monday, escalating an international cyber war that has jolted this security-obsessed country.
On Monday, El Al Israel Airlines took down its website after hacker OxOmar, who has been linked to the Saudi group, warned that both sites would be targeted by allied pro-Palestinian hackers, a person close to the company said. The source was not authorized to speak to the media and requested anonymity.
Stock trading and El Al flights operated normally despite the disruption, which occurred as Israeli media reported that pro-Palestinian hackers had threatened at the weekend to shut down the Tase stock exchange and airline websites.
"They have demanded an apology for Israel's defensive measures," the deputy foreign minister, Danny Ayalon, said on his Facebook page, alluding to the conflict with Palestinians.
The Jerusalem Post's email exchange with hacker 0xOmar offers a more explicit explanation of that demand:
"I'll hack Israeli servers and publish their data, I'll publish credit cards. Imagine every possible Cyber Attack, I'll do it. There is no end for it, but if Israeli authorities ask for apologize [sic] for their genocide in Palestine and Gaza, I'll reduce attacks," the hacker said.
Asked by the Post whether he was concerned that Saudi nationals and other Arabs could be caught up in a retaliatory strike by a network of Israeli hackers, 0xOmar dismissed the threat, saying, "No one from my country would suffer!" He dismissed the publication of hundreds of Saudi credit cards by the Israeli hackers last week as ineffective.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri, speaking from Gaza, characterized the cyber attack as:
"a sign of the Arab youth's creativity in inventing new forms of Arab and Islamic resistance against the Israeli occupation.
"Hamas praises the Arab hackers and calls on the Arab youth to play their role in cyberspace in the face of Israeli crimes,"
Check out for Al Akhbar's interview with the elusive Saudi hacker 0xOmar.