One group of activists has dropped the rockets. An international group of hackers known as ‘Anonymous’ have taken to cyberspace to express their collective discontent of the recent Israeli airstrikes on Gaza.
According to the New York Times, a Tel Aviv-based security firm Radware says:
…a coordinated action that began at 3 a.m. New York time Thursday, hackers attacked Web sites belonging to the Israel Defense Forces, the prime minister’s office, Israeli banks, airlines, and security companies by flooding them with Web traffic, in a campaign they called #OpIsrael.
The cyber activity may be in response to the Israel Defense Force’s similar efforts to maintain an active presence on social media websites such as Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook. The IDF even posted a YouTube video of the targeted attack that killed Hamas chief Ahmed Jabari yesterday.
One of Anonymous’s main online targets has been the website that they claim, perhaps erroneously, to be Israel’s “top security and surveillance website.” The new homepage has a black background with red text that reads “Stop bombing Gaza!! Millions of Israelis & Palestinians are lying awake, exposed & terrified. We Anonymous will not sit back and watch a cowardly Zionist State demolish innocent people’s lives.” It also features an image of Gaza, with several smoke plumes rising from buildings.
Other strange cyber activity has been taking place today, such as a plethora of bizarre tweets posted by Twitter handle @IDFSpokeperson that could only be accounted for by an ironic takeover of account. One example is pasted below. Others include “@netanyahu how many do we have to kill to help you win the election sir?” and “@TheGreenParty What about all that pollution caused by the rockets?”
Anonymous is only a loosely associated group, comprised of anyone who wishes to join the effort. They regularly recruit volunteers and publicize their their cyber attacks on a website called Pastebin. Today, the site’s editors concluded a series of defamatory comments with a more egalitarian message:
Anonymous does not support violence by the I.D.F. or by Palestinian Resistance/Hamas. Our concern is for the children of Israel and Palestinian Territories and the rights of the people in Gaza to maintain open lines of communication with the outside world.
Amen to that. @Peace: our thoughts, prayers, and Twitter accounts are rooting for you.