An Arab hacker who has been at the forefront of recent waves of internet attacks on Israel told The Jerusalem Post Monday that he would continue to strike key Israeli websites until the government "apologizes for their genocide in Palestine and Gaza.[sic]"
"Yes, I'll keep... attacking and publishing everything related to military or of normal people," he said in an email, hours after the websites of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and El Al were taken offline.
0xOmar said the two sites were struck by a new team of hackers calling themselves "Nightmare," who answered his call to attack Israel. Both sites supply important information to members of the public. Three banks were also attacked later in the day.
All of the affected websites were targeted by a Denial of Service (DoS) attack, in which large numbers of computers infected with are ordered to visit a , thereby flooding its server with requests and making it unavailable to others. DoS attacks do not, however, compromise servers. Trading on the Stock Exchange went uninterrupted.
"I want to hurt/harm Israel in any possible [way]," 0xOmar said in an email.
"I'll DDOS [carry out Denial of Service attacks on] important sites like Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, elal.co.il and currently we're DDOSing Bank Massad," 0xOmar said, minutes after the Massad was affected by a web attack.
"I'll hack Israeli servers and publish their data, I'll publish credit cards. Imagine every possible Cyber Attack, I'll do it. There is no end for it, but if Israeli authorities ask for apologize [sic] for their genocide in Palestine and Gaza, I'll reduce attacks," the hacker said.
Asked by the Post whether he was concerned that Saudi nationals and other Arabs could be caught up in a retaliatory strike by a network of Israeli hackers, 0xOmar dismissed the threat, saying, "No one from my country would suffer!" He dismissed the publication of hundreds of Saudi credit cards by the Israeli hackers last week as ineffective.
Advising Israeli authorities to "resign this game," and claiming that Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon threatened him with "death," 0xOmar said a two week deadline he set is expiring. "I'm going to win another game! [A] game of hiding and not being caught by Interpol, Mossad, Dany Ayalon, Israel, etc," he wrote.
The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange website made a swift recovery and was back online by Monday morning, but the El Al website remained unavailable well into the day on Monday.
El Al released a statement saying it was aware that "a cyber war has been waged against the State of Israel for two weeks. El Al is closely activities of the Saudi hacker [0xOmar]." El Al said steps being taken to fortify its official website "could cause disruptions to the website's activities."
The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange confirmed it was targeted and said it was subject to a denial of service attack, but stressed that computers which handle trading were not affected.
"There has been an attack by hackers on the access routes to the (TASE) website. The stock exchange's are operating normally," said Orna Goren, deputy manager of the exchange's marketing and communications unit.
Meanwhile, a Jewish pro-Israel hacker named Hannibal published information enabling web users to break into the accounts of 20,000 Arab Facebook users.
Hannibal said he held information that would make it possible to breaking into ten million Iranian and Saudi bank accounts, and threatened to cause billions of dollars worth of damages.
Israel announced in May that it had set up a government cyber command to secure the country against hacking attacks. It began operations this month.
A founding member of the cyber unit, Isaac Ben-Israel, said the country's most vital systems were already protected but that incidents like the ones seen recently will only increase.
"As long as the systems are not guarded, any hacker anywhere in the world can break into them and do damage," Ben-Israel said on Israel Radio. "I believe that, done right, in a year or two, we will be able to wipe out all these hackers' threats."
Cyber warfare is a serious threat to Israel's security, said Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Yuli Edelstein on Monday.
Speaking on a panel at the annual Women's International Zionist Organization conference in Tel Aviv, the minister said recent incidents like the posting of confidential credit card information belonging to Israelis on the Web by a hacker were a menace to the country.
"The cyber war against Israel is very real," he said. "It's not just about writing 'Jews drink blood' and something like that. It's an attack on El Al, [the Israeli air line], on its companies and its people."