Israel, the land of Stuxnet and Duqu and home of a sophisticated cyberwarfare capability pursued both by Mossad operatives and the IDF’s Unit 8200, has received a small comeuppance. While it was busy figuring ways to penetrate Iran’s computer defenses and sabotage its purported nuclear program, Anonymous decided to (Hebrew) hack into the websites of various official Israeli government agencies and bring them down:
In a video that was uploaded to YouTube, the group [Anonymous] warns that if the siege on Gaza is maintained, it will have no choice but to go on the attack.
On Sunday, the websites of the IDF, Mossad and the Shin Bet security services were down.
The Hebrew version says the Government of Israel website was also brought down. I must say it seems rather odd that the website of Israel’s intelligence and military, among the most technologically sophisticated at cyberwarfare would have the sorts of vulnerabilities that Anonymous could exploit. Though the intelligence agencies emphasized that their internal sites, where most of their dirty work is done, were not affected.
The government released a statement denying that Anonymous had brought down the sites, feebly claiming that an unspecified “malfunction” had done so. I got news: malfunctions happen to one site, maybe two, but not all of the major external sites of the Israeli government. That’s not a random failure, but something organized and coordinated like what Anonymous is capable of doing. Haaretz, rather humorously, calls the group “an international cabal,” rather like the Elders of Zion I imagine.
I think this shows that even the most secure nations, intelligence services, and websites can be penetrated and havoc wrought. Which is precisely my argument regarding Stuxnet: if we sow the seeds of sabotage inside Iran Israel will eventually reap the whirlwind inside its own borders. Someone somewhere will figure out how to do what Israel what it has done to others. It’s a version of the old adage:
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
So if you “do” Iran, Iran (or Anonymous) will “do” you too.