Hackers also left a warning message for Israeli agencies to be prepared for a “big surprise.”
Over a thousand Israeli websites were reportedly hacked a couple of days ago in what security experts term as a massive hacking spree allegedly carried out by Iranian hackers.
According to the Israel National Cyber Directorate (INCD) the attack was a coordinated attempt by Iran and was expected since Iran was observing Quds Day on Friday, which is generally marked by anti-Israel speeches and protests, while Israel was gearing up to celebrate Jerusalem Day on Saturday.
The affected sites’ home pages were defaced with a video depicting the burning image of Tel Aviv, the country’s commercial capital. Furthermore, the hackers also installed a code that asked for permission to access the webcam on the victim’s device to take a picture and upload it to their C&C.
The preview of the defacement has been uploaded by the hackers on their official YouTube channel.
The main targets of the attackers were private firms, organizations, political groups, and individuals. Mostly the websites using WordPress hosted on a local Israeli hosting company uPress were attacked.
In a message on Facebook, the hosting company acknowledged the hack and stated that,
Today in an early hour a cyber attack has been built on a lot of sites that are hosted with us. This is a deliberate and deliberate attack of anti-Israeli factors. We have identified a security weakness for a WordPress extension that caused the breach.
On the other hand, According to the INCD, the damage is superficial, and despite the number of sites attacked, the scale of the campaign is still quite small because the attack was carried out via a single access point.
The directorate didn’t reveal the exact number of websites targeted by the hackers, but as per media sources in Israel at least 1,000 sites have been attacked.
Included in the sites attacked are websites of Ramat Hasharon and Mitzpe Ramon local authorities, United Hatzalah emergency responders, an Israeli coffee franchise Cofix, right-wing group Regavim, a Danish electronics firm Bang & Olufsen’s Israeli branch website, and Meretz MK Nitzan Horowitz’s website.
The home page displayed an image of Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities in flames along with this caption: ‘’the countdown to the destruction of Israel started long ago.” The title of the pages was replaced with this caption: “’Be ready for a big surprise.”
A photoshopped image of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is also shown in which he can be seen crossing a river to escape the burning city. Reportedly, a group calling itself “Hackers of Saviour” has claimed the responsibility of the attack.
Here’s what the defacement looked like:
Nevertheless, the attack could very well be a reaction of the recent cyberattack on computers installed at an Iranian port, which Iran claimed was launched by Israel.
However, experts claim that the attackers might be linked to North African countries, Turkey, or the Gaza Strip, and the Iranian government may not be involved while according to Channel 12 news, Iranian hackers might be involved in the attack.
This however is not the first time when Israel has come under cyber attacks. In February this year, reports emerged that Hamas hackers had posed as women to con IDF into downloading malware.