The Israel-Palestine conflict, rooted in historical tensions dating back to the early 20th century, escalated into a full-scale armed conflict in 2023. This particular conflict stands out from previous ones due to the unprecedented human and material toll it has taken, leading to extensive loss of life and widespread displacement.
Alongside this grim conflict, there has been a surge of hacktivists and ransomware groups actively targeting government entities, communication facilities, and other critical infrastructure. More than 100 hacker groups have joined this Israel-Palestine conflict, causing irreparable damage. The Cyber Express presents a timeline of the cyberattacks in the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Israel-Palestine Attack Spree
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, spanning decades, is among the world’s longest-standing conflicts. Efforts, including the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, often overlap with broader Arab Israeli disputes. Early tensions emerged from claims to a Jewish homeland, notably the First Zionist Congress in 1897 and the Balfour Declaration in 1917, leading to waves of Jewish immigration.
Since 2006, Hamas and Israel have engaged in five wars, the latest in 2023. After the election of Israel’s 37th government in November 2022, led by Benjamin Netanyahu and notable for its inclusion of far-right politicians, violence escalated.
This led to various military actions like the January, June, and July 2023 Jenin incursions, as well as events like the 2023 Al-Aqsa clashes, the May 2023 Gaza–Israel clashes, and the 2023 Israel–Hamas war. These, along with Palestinian political violence, resulted in the highest death toll in the conflict since 2005.
Timeline of Israel-Palestine Cyberattacks
Cyber Av3nger claimed a cyberattack on Israel’s power grid, targeting Noga and DORAD power plants. CTI firm Group IB investigated, revealing unexpected details. This was the initial point of attack that later turned into a widespread war between hackers taking sides for both Israel and Palestine.
Tensions on the Gaza Border rise, triggering a surge in hacktivist activities. Hashtags such as #OpIsrael and #AlAqsaFlood gained traction on social media platforms. Teams like Team insane PK, Garnesia Team, and Garuda Security, among others, advocate for Palestine.
Hamas launched a significant assault on Israel, leading to widespread violence and casualties. Israel declares war on Hamas in response. Hacktivist groups target critical infrastructure and government entities.
Hacktivist and Ransomware Groups’ Involvement
Anonymous Sudan, with ties to Russia, supports Hamas and launches attacks against Israel.
Emergency warning systems in Israel are compromised. Exploits in the RedAlert app expose vulnerabilities, disrupting real-time rocket alerts.
Mysterious Team Bangladesh joins the campaign and launches the OpIsraelV2 campaign against Israel. Subsequently, ThreatSec’s unaffiliated strikes attack both sides without declaring affiliation, targeting critical infrastructure.
The Indian Cyber Force announces cyber-attacks on Palestine starting from October 8th. Meanwhile, KillNet’s Russian hackers launched a cyberattack on the Israeli government, banks, and companies’ infrastructure.
Other hacker groups target countries supporting Israel, including India, France, the USA, and Ukraine. Following this, several hacktivists united in support of Palestine, focusing on cyberattacks against Israel.
Continuing the Cyberwarfare
Numerous formidable hacker groups joined the conflict, including Ghosts of Palestine, which launched widespread attacks on major Israeli websites, including Iron Dome and government sites. Simultaneously, Russian hackers entered the fray through their Pro-Russian group KillMilk, boasting a legion of 10,000 members. Israel experienced 176 significant incidents, while Palestine, India, and Indonesia encountered varying degrees of cyber activity.
The 2023 Israel-Palestine cyber conflict witnessed an unprecedented surge in hacktivist activities, intensifying the already devastating physical warfare. This timeline offers a comprehensive overview of the digital struggle accompanying the conflict, shedding light on the intricate dynamics of cyber warfare within the Israel-Palestine context.