During the Israel-Hamas conflict, Israel has faced an increase in cybersecurity threats, including the hijacking of two smart billboards near Tel Aviv displaying pro-Hamas content briefly. Gil Messing, chief of staff at Check Point Software Technologies, a Tel Aviv-based cybersecurity firm, reported that hackers infiltrated the billboards and changed the commercials to show anti-Israeli, pro-Hamas footage for a short period. The content featured imagery like the Israeli flag under fire and footage from Gaza. Eilon Rosman, CEO of CTV Media Israel, the company owning the billboards, explained that the network had to be briefly opened, allowing the hackers to gain access.
Check Point has observed several cyber threats since the conflict began, with most incidents involving website defacement or brief distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. Although the billboard incidents are considered marginal compared to other cyber activities during the conflict, Check Point has identified threats targeting critical infrastructure, including water utilities. Over 40 groups claim to be attempting cyberattacks, primarily aiming to create fear and discomfort rather than significant damage.
The most significant cyberattack during the conflict targeted Ono Academic College near Tel Aviv. A hacker group claiming to be from Jordan breached the college’s system, publishing around 250,000 records of employees, students, and former students on Telegram. The college had to take its systems offline, and cybersecurity experts are investigating the breach. The college expects its IT systems to be fully operational in the coming days, addressing the aftermath of the significant cyberattack.
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