AnonGhost, a group that is said to be affiliated with the global hacking group Anonymous, has released a video in which it vows to punish Israel for its “crimes in the Palestinian territories” with an “electronic Holocaust.”
The video message, which includes English and Arabic subtitles, displays images from the Gaza conflict, including footage of “Operation Protective Edge,” an air strike campaign Israel launched against Gaza last summer.
The speaker in the video cites the footage as evidence of Israel’s “endless” human right violations against the Palestinians, alleged crimes for which Anonymous vows to punish Israel.
“This is why elite cyber-squadrons, from around the world, will decide to unite in solidarity, with the Palestinian people, against Israel, as one entity to disrupt and erase Israel from cyberspace,” the video concludes. “We’ll show you on 7 April 2015 what the electronic holocaust means.”
This is not the first time a group associated with Anonymous has threatened Israel, explains Benjamin T. Decker, senior intelligence analyst at Tel Aviv-based geopolitical risk consultancy The Levantine Group.
“For the most part, this is posturing. This is actually the fourth year that Anonymous has carried out this Op Israel attack and called on their supporters to erase Israel from the internet,” he says.
“As the years have progressed we have seen that, despite their increasing sophistication in hacking techniques, we have seen less damage against Israeli cyber infrastructures, largely due to Israel’s pioneering of most cyber warfare tactics, both offensive and defensive.”
Anonymous’ hacking campaigns against Israel date back to 2012 and have struck at various Israeli targets including the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), the Bank of Israel, and the prime minister’s office.
Despite the yearly recurrence of Anonymous’ attacks, however, some doubt whether Anonymous is truly involved in #OpIsrael.
“These groups call themselves anonymous, but in reality the Op-Israel hackers responsible for the actions are mostly from the Middle East, with connections to our local conflict,”explains Daniel Cohen, a research associate at the Israel Institute for National Security Studies Cyber Warfare Program (INSS).
Cohen goes on to state he believes the hackers responsible for the yearly attacks are affiliated with Hezbollah and Hamas.
Anonymous’ targets in the Middle East have varied. Most recently, the hacking collective concluded a campaign against ISIS in which it allegedly shut down over 800 Twitter accounts associated with the terrorist group.