News & Stories

'Anonymous' organization annual cyber-attack is expected today


The attack surface may expand as a result of remote work, and the opening of VPN interfaces.


Dr. Harel Menashri


Dr. Harel Menashri, Head of Cyber at HIT, explains: Today, April 7, the annual cyber attack by "Anonymous" against Israel is expected. The attack is directed against the State of Israel, and the citizens of Israel, in order to express solidarity with the Palestinian people, and its purpose is to "erase Israel from the Internet."


Dr. Menashri says that “one must not panic. In previous years the success of the attackers was minimal and extremely limited. The vulnerable spots are the citizens and the public's digital space, while the country's large organizations and vital infrastructures are protected. It is important to note that the discourse on social media and the evaluations for the campaign on the pages of well-known attack groups are lower than in previous years.


Since 2013, a group of activists (hackers) have been organizing with the aim of carrying out large and significant cyber-attacks on April 7, aiming at expressing solidarity with the Palestinians against Israel, under the heading "Deleting Israel from the Internet." The targets of the attackers: creating a media echo and advancing a political agenda, sowing fear among the Israeli public, preventing the provision of Internet services, exposing private information, vandalizing websites, harming public trust in government and institutional websites and more. Although so far, they have not been able to cause significant damage, their activity has a devastating potential.


Anonymous' cyber-attacks are likely to focus on several aspects this year as well: First, denial of service (DoS / DDoS)- attacks aimed at overloading and crashing communications networks and computer systems, while harnessing multiple computers for joint action against the target. The "network terrorists" of "Anonymous" call upon their supporters to assist in order to generate massive attack power. Additional attacks exploit the weaknesses of Israeli surfers by sending emails with malware or links that allow them to infiltrate databases and leak information, and take over computer systems. In previous years, there have also been an increase in activities aimed at destroying the websites of organizations and companies in Israel around this date and it is likely that "anonymous" elements will also act in this direction.


It should also be noted that in the past year there has been a significant increase in ransomware attacks aimed at encrypting files and information on the victim's computer and demanding ransom in exchange for releasing the information. It is expected that during this period there will be a further increase in such attacks, although this is not necessarily the activity of "anonymous" elements.


The attacks of "anonymous" elements, as well as attacks on the part of other elements, should be taken seriously but in proportion, and certainly without panic. Although there is no promise of 100% protection in any field, the State of Israel is one of the leading countries in the Western world in the field of cyber warfare and defense, it invests large resources in protecting critical national infrastructures such as electricity, water, energy and national communications networks.


The weak point of the state is in the public digital space, when targeting citizens. One of the key problems is that there is significant lack of information in the field for citizens, they are vulnerable and thus become the easy target of the country. It should be understood that in the current era each of us is part of cyberspace, everyone owns a computer used for web browsing at home and / or a smartphone, so everyone is in cyberspace and everyone is vulnerable.


A number of simple measures can be taken for effective defense:

  • Vigilance and suspicion towards suspicious emails, or those from unknown sources, trying to seduce and stress.
  • Avoid clicking on links or opening attachments that come in emails or text messages from an unknown source.
  • Regular updating of the Windows and Anti-Virus system.
  • For those who manage systems of this type - regular updating of computer systems that are exposed to the Internet (websites, applications).
  • Use of complex passwords.
  • Backup important materials.



It should be noted that the State of Israel is able to protect the civilian digital space, but there are situations in which such protection may conflict with democratic values and there is a need to take action at the legislative level, which will allow the protection to be realized. At the same time, there is a need to increase information among Israeli citizens, regarding the correct use of simple protection tools, the dangers that exist on the Internet, and emphasizing the great importance of file backups - this issue is also on the doorstep of the national cyber system.


In conclusion, the annual activity of "Anonymous" has many effects like attracting much attention and intimidation, which are usually more effective than their actual harm. But at the same time there are a number of elements that are important to emphasize: the civil-public space constitutes a soft underbelly and therefore investment must be made in publicity, encouragement of awareness and in the development of systems that will protect this space. Public systems and citizens must actively defend themselves, carry out preventive measures, and ensure ongoing backup of their data.


At any case, one can always contact the National Cyber Network.




Posted: 07/04/2021