The cyber attack on the Tel Aviv Stock exchange, leading banks, and El Al airlines could be motivated by political or ideological activism.
Cyber attacks are becoming more frequent, with many occurring in 2011. The attack on Israel’s stock exchange and national airline show that the frequency of cyber attacks may not be slowing down anytime soon.
Online access to the Tel Aviv stock exchange, El Al airlines, and three banks were disrupted by hackers on Monday. The attack occurred just days after a hacker sympathising with Palestine released the details of thousands of credit card owners and personal information onto the internet.
Banks that were hit by the attack were the First International Bank of Israel along with two subsidiaries, Bank Massad and Bank Otzar Hahayal. The banks said that their marketing sites had been hacked.
The Director of Research for Corero Network Security, Neil Roiter, said that the motivation behind the attack clearly falls into the category of ideological activism. The Distributed Denial of Server (DDos) on Israel is an example of cyber warfare happening in the Middle East.
"With tit-for-tat attacks reportedly taking place between alleged Saudi and Israeli hackers, this latest barrage shows that any organisation, government or business, is a potential target. DDoS attacks can cripple an organisation, costing thousands, even millions of dollars, driving customers to competitive sites and ruining a corporate brand. Directed against entities such as the Tel Aviv Exchange, they can severely disrupt national and global commerce"
DDoS attacks can cause severe damage to an organisation resulting in the expense of thousands or even millions of dollars in addition to losing customers and brand reputation. Attacks like those on the Tel Aviv Exchange can cause severe disruption in national and global commerce.
"Organisations must continue to plan their security strategy assuming that attackers may be motivated by political and/or ideological activism, also called "hactivism". Typically, the motivations for data breaches involve the pursuit of illicit financial gain, usually through the re-sale of credit card information or identity theft. However, in the Israeli case, the fact that the attacker(s) published the information, rather than trying to use it for financial gain, suggests a motivation more likely to be ideological and/or political activism," Roiter added.