Early on Tuesday morning, a group calling itself “Anonymous Sudan” initiated a cyberattack against multiple major universities in Israel.
“Infrastructure: Universities – Israel education sector has been dropped Because [sic] of what they did in Palestine,” Anonymous Sudan wrote on social media.
The websites for Tel Aviv University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Haifa University, Weizmann Institute of Science, Open University of Israel and Reichman University were unavailable for browsing during the attack.
The attack was a distributed denial of service attack (DDOS), which usually causes a website server to be unable to respond to requests. It is unclear whether the attack also allowed penetration of any of the institutions' systems.
The attack was part of a notorious #OPIsrael campaign in which activists – essentially political hackers – attempt to attack targets on the Israeli internet. At the time of publication, some sites were already back up and running normally.
Israeli-American cybersecurity firm Check Point told the Maariv Hebrew news site that the perpetrators were likely probing the security systems.
“These are service-preventing attacks – those that only bring down websites and do not steal information and that can be recovered from relatively easily. However, it can be assumed that these groups are trying to produce more significant attacks, including ransom attacks and data theft,” they said.
Anonymous Sudan warned that the attack was just a preparation for a larger attack to take place on April 7.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.