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News updated at 8:37 PM IST

Hackers target govt websites

JERUSALEM, Nov 18, 2012 Reuters 0:12 IST
More than 44 million hacking attempts have been made on Israeli government websites since Wednesday when Israel began its Gaza airstrikes, the government said on Sunday.

Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said just one hacking attempt was successful on a site he did not want to name, but it was up and running after 10 minutes of downtime.

Typically, there are a few hundred hacking attempts a day on Israeli sites, the ministry said. Defence-related sites and those of Israel’s prime minister, president and Foreign Ministry have been targeted.

A ministry spokesman said while the attacks have come from around the world, most have been from Israel and the Palestinian territories.

“The ministry’s computer division will continue to block the millions of cyber attacks,” Steinitz said. “We are enjoying the fruits of our investment in recent years in developing computerised defence systems.” Steinitz has instructed his ministry to operate in emergency mode to counter attempts to undermine government sites.

Social media tool

Both sides in the Gaza conflict, but particularly Israel, are embracing the social media as one of their tools of warfare. The Israeli Defence Force has established a presence on nearly every platform available while Palestinian militants are active on Twitter.

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