Hackers claiming to be affiliated with Anonymous launched a widespread cyber attack on Israeli citizens, government institutions, and corporations on Wednesday, according to Internet chatter and postings from the self-described hackers.
The attack is purportedly being carried out by a nebulous group of hackers who claim affiliation with both Anonymous and the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), which supports embattled President Bashar al Assad.
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Timed to occur on the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, the hackers took aim at Israeli banks and government websites over what they claimed are the Jewish state’s multiple crimes.
The hackers alternately blamed Israel for the 9/11 terror attacks, condemned its treatment of the Palestinians, and vowed to publish at least 5,000 Israeli credit card numbers.
"WAKE UP WORLD!!! Who Was Really Behind the 9/11 Attacks?" declared one Twitter user claiming to be affiliated with the cyber attack.
Many in the Middle East and around the world continue to believe that Israel had a secret hand in orchestrating and carrying out the 9/11 terror attacks.
A list detailing dozens of Israeli cyber targets was published online late Tuesday by the hackers.
Several Israeli defense websites and the government’s ministry of foreign affairs could not be accessed on Wednesday morning, as the hackers launched what are known as targeted denial of service attacks designed to overload a website and crash its server.
Hackers claiming to be from Spain, Indonesia, the Middle East, and elsewhere urged their followers to take aim at popular Israeli websites, such as the tour group Birthright Israel, which has one of its portals defaced on early Wednesday.
"Gotcha!! Dual attacker was here!!" read a message left by hackers one the website Birthright Forum.
The cyber attacks first began over the weekend, when hackers infiltrated Israeli banks and other servers. They eventually published the names, credit card numbers, and personal information of thousands.
Anonymous also posted the login details of a reported 165,000 Israeli email users.
Some hackers claiming affiliation with Anonymous warned Israel of its intentions in the days leading up to the Sept. 11, 2013 attack, which they dubbed "Op Israel Reborn."
"Israel do you Remember us, we are the same people who fucked you on April 7th," one Twitter user wrote earlier this month.
"And we are back to punish you again There is no Israel on this map, because it is Palestine. ‘We are Hackers, we watching you.'"
The group recorded a video message revealing details of the operation on Sunday.
"Our Palestinian brothers and sisters are treated unjustly," the group said in the video.
"Israel’s secrets, which may be military, economics, or even private, will be popularized, so long till you at least take a new course regarding the settlement policy and the treatment of Palestinian citizens."
Anonymous has targeted Israel multiple times in the past, bringing down government websites and stealing data.
Anonymous members also claimed to be responsible for cyber attacks on Saudi Arabian and Syrian websites over the weekend.