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May 5, 2019 5:59 pm

Israeli Security Agencies Say Foiled Major Hamas Cyber Attack on Vital Infrastructure This Weekend

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

A keyboard. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The Israel Defense Forces and intelligence agency Shin Bet foiled a major Hamas cyber-attack this weekend, local media outlets reported on Sunday.

Reportedly, the target was vital Israeli infrastructure. Further details on the nature of the attack have not yet been revealed.

A top official in Israel’s National Cyber Directorate said that Israel not only foiled the attempted attack, but retaliated against Hamas’ cyber “war room,” Israeli news website Mako reported.

The official said that Israel had been tracking the network behind the attack for some time.

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“All the actions and attempts were discovered and thwarted in advance, and the network failed to realize its plans,” said the IDF Spokesperson’s Office. “Most of the attempt failed in recent days.”

A senior official in the Shin Bet said that Israel’s cyber defense capabilities “have reached the point that attempts by the Hamas terror organization to implement activities in the cyber realm fail time after time.”

The announcement comes as Hamas makes other attempts to exploit Israeli technology. According to Israeli news site Walla, a WhatsApp message has been appearing on Israeli smartphones warning that answering phone calls from specific numbers will allow Hamas to target the phone’s user.

The IDF has stated that the message is a fake and is being sent by Hamas in order to spread fear and panic among Israeli citizens.

The cyber attack appears to have come in coordination with a massive wave of Hamas rocket attacks on Israel’s south. Hundreds of rockets have been fired and four Israeli civilians have been killed in the attacks. The IDF has engaged in widespread retaliatory strikes against Hamas targets.

The retaliatory strikes have killed a top Hamas operative who served as a conduit for Iranian funds, while another destroyed Hamas’ security headquarters, Hebrew media reported.

“Hamas activists and its people are vulnerable whenever we want to strike them,” a senior officer in the Israeli Air Force said.

According to Mako, Hamas has conveyed a message to Israel that it is interested in a ceasefire at this time.

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