Israel reportedly has been under cyber attack by Anonymous, although the lethality of the attacks is questioned:

Anonymous, the loose coalition of hackers waging war on Israeli Web sites, is the least of Israel’s cyber problems. Its campaign against Israel is a minor annoyance compared with a wave of cyber attacks that have hit the country over the last year from Iran and Gaza.

Since Wednesday — when Israel began airstrikes into Gaza — Anonymous hackers have retaliated with millions of hacking efforts on Israeli government and private business sites, intermittently taking hundreds offline, defacing some with anti-Israel messages, deleting Web databases for others and dumping thousands of citizens’ usernames and passwords online.

The campaign, which hackers have dubbed #OpIsrael, is essentially the digital equivalent of a business getting hit with graffiti; it is a costly nuisance, but eventually databases can be recovered, messages removed and sites come back online. Israeli officials say the vast majority of the hacking efforts over the last week on government sites — some 44 million tries by one official’s count — have been unsuccessful, with the exception of one site that went “wobbly for a few minutes,” the Israeli finance minister, Yuval Steinitz, told reporters, before recovering.

Which brings me to the question of why Israel, and for that matter the U.S., has not been able to take down Anonymous.

They got inside Iran’s nuclear program’s computers with Stuxnet.

And inside the computerized air defense systems of countries like Syria.

And inside the French President’s computers:

The United States used U.S.-Israeli spy software to hack into the French presidential office earlier this year, the French cyberwarfare agency has concluded, according to the newsmagazine l’Express.

The magazine reported late Tuesday that the computers of several close advisers to then-president Nicolas Sarkozy – including Chief of Staff Xavier Musca – were compromised in May by a computer virus that bears the hallmarks of Flame, which was allegedly created by a U.S.-Israeli team to target Iran’s nuclear program. Anonymous French officials pointed the finger at the United States.

I realize that attacking an identifiable target is easier than attacking an amorphous group … but still, one wonders.

Stacy McCain notes:

Excuse the blunt language, but if these Anonymous hackers think they can side with Hamas against Israel without consequence, they’ve got another think coming. Dude, if the FBI gets you, that’s one thing. If the Mossad ever gets you? Hey, accidents happen:

The Israel Air force struck Hamas leader Ismael Haniyeh’s headquarters in the northern Gaza Strip early Saturday morning, according to the IDF Spokesman’s Office.

Getting involved in a shooting war seems to raise the stakes quite a bit for hackers.

No one expects The Spanish Inquisition; or the exploding cell phone; or the exploding car headrest; or the inexplicable death in a locked hotel room.

And no one fears it, so long as one is anonymous.


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