Hackers associated with the Anonymous movement say they have taken down more than 40 Israeli government and military websites and put together emergency Internet resources and information for Palestinians ahead of what they say could be an attempt by Israel to cut access in Gaza.
"The government of Israel publicly threatened to sever all Internet and other telecommunications into and out of Gaza," Anonymous wrote, announcing #OpIsrael, on an Anonymous posting forum. For too long, they wrote, "Anonymous has stood by with the rest of the world and watched in despair the barbaric, brutal and despicable treatment of the Palestinian people."
Despite allegedly crossing what Anonymous calls a "line in the sand," Israel has not announced plans to limit Gaza's Internet access.
The political hackers used distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks to take down sites such as Activate Israel and a "top Israel security and surveillance" site, barring users' access, and putting up messages of their own.
As is customary, several Anonymous Twitter accounts announced the takedowns.
"Stop bombing Gaza!! Millions of Israelis & Palestinians are lying awake, exposed & terrified,” http://falcon-s.co.il reads as of this writing. "We Anonymous will not sit back and watch a cowardly Zionist State demolish innocent people's lives. We have taken down your top security and surveillance website down."
But the show of solidarity goes beyond online vandalism. The group joined forces with Telecomix activists to create a Pastebin post with tips to help Palestinians stay online, even in extreme circumstances, and a care package for Gaza," which appears to contain iLivid, an unpopular browser plugin. We've reached out to Anonymous about the care package but as of this writing they have not responded. TechNewsDaily is unclear how iLivid could help Palestinians facilitate an Internet connection.
Israeli Defense Forces have taken to social media themselves, tweeting offensive action as it happens from its official Twitter account and even appealing to Americans over the microblog service.
"Good morning to our friends in #America. While you were sleeping, 3 Israelis were killed when a rocket hit their house."
This is war on the Internet.
Follow Ben on Twitter@benkwx.
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