Initial Preparations for #OpIsrael 2017

During the past week, we detected indications for initial preparations for the upcoming #OpIsrael campaign scheduled for April 7, 2017. SenseCy identified several event pages on Facebook that were opened explicitly to organize cyber-attacks. The number of participants in all the event pages that we found is relatively low (approximately 160 Facebook users).In addition, there are many users that joined several event pages concurrently. Therefore, the final number of participants, to date, is actually lower. However, we expect that this number will rise as April 7, 2017 nears. In addition, an escalation in the security situation with Hamas in the Gaza Strip may increase motivation among anti-Israel threat actors to join the campaign.

Table of #OpIsrael event pages on Facebook:

Name of Event Page Initiators Number of Participants
AnonGhostOpIsraël Anonymous Palestine – فلسطين 94
#OpIsrael2017 Minion Ghost 38
Operation Israel 2017 Operation Israel 07.04 19
هجمات اكترونية لازالة اسرائيل Hazem Ahmed 7

In addition, we identified two Telegram groups with a few dozen members dedicated to #OpIsrael. To date, the conversations on these groups are not focused on organizing anti-Israel cyber-attacks.

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Screenshot from one of the #OpIsrael Telegram groups

Potential Targets

An anti-Israel Twitter account published a link to a recycled target list from #OpIsrael 2015 that contained various Israeli government websites. Moreover, several anti-Israel hacktivists have claimed responsibility for purportedly shutting down Israeli websites, such as the website of the Israeli Ministry of Defense. In some cases, they also claimed that they breached a few websites, such as the website of the Tel Aviv Municipality and the Bank of Israel, and uploaded malicious files to them.  Based on previous experience, we assume that these claims are false.

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Hacktivists claimed they uploaded malicious files to two Israeli websites

Attack Tools

Below is an excerpt from a screenshot published by an #OpIsrael Telegram group that may indicate the use of familiar DDoS tools. Notably, the hacktivists have not published links to download recommended attack tools thus far.

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Screenshot of familiar DDoS tools

Finally, there are preparations for the upcoming #OpIsrael campaign on several hacktivist platforms. However, they indicate that the campaign is only in its initial stages.

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