Hackers Hit Israel Ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day
No major damage done in 'Operation Israel,' experts say
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2013 2:07 AM CDT
The last candle is lit during a Holocaust memorial service.   (AP Photo/Detroit News, Elizabeth Conley)

(Newser) – Pro-Palestinian hackers claiming to be affiliated with Anonymous launched what they described as a "massive cyberassault" on Israel yesterday. The attacks briefly closed down many government websites; the website of Yad Vashem, Israel's official Holocaust memorial, was also briefly taken down ahead of today's Holocaust Memorial Day national holiday, the New York Times reports. Facebook pages and sites belonging to small businesses were also targeted.

Among the reasons the hackers gave for "Operation Israel" were continued expansion of West Bank settlements and recent Israeli strikes on Gaza. Security experts say the attack involved more than a thousand hackers in locations including Gaza, North Africa, and Indonesia, the Wall Street Journal reports. The chief of a cybersecurity firm says that while some databases were stolen, Israel is so well-guarded against cyberattacks that damage was minimal and the attack was "pesky" rather than a serious threat.