In a well-timed and coordinated attack, Palestinian terrorists simultaneously struck a number of Jewish sacred sites. At exactly 9 pm on Purim eve, Vos Iz Neias, Aish.com, and Yeshiva World News were hit by a so-called distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack. These attacks flood web servers with superfluous requests thus preventing legitimate requests from being serviced.
At the time of writing, two of the sites remain down, as their operations are outsourced to Indian call centres, who have been working frantically to restore service. Mordechai Yemini, from the cyberterrorism division of the Ministry of Defence, remarked that “these are three of the Holiest Jewish sites, and we are not taking this attack lightly. Our response will be swift and strong.”
Rabbi Yair ben Shimi from YWN issued a statement: “In the Yeshivish world, we take Purim very seriously, and this attack against our Holiest sites that clearly targets the Orthodox world tears at our very spirits at this time of year. It’s hard enough for us to be merry on a regular Purim, and this attack makes it even more difficult.”
The attack targets appeared to have been chosen very specifically, based on the site profile and perceived cyber-vulnerabilities. The Times of Israel site uses Israeli anti-cyber-attack technology and is resistant to DDOS and many other types of attacks. The Jerusalem Post site has so many advertisements that it’s unable to tell the difference between real and sponsored content, so DDOS attacks are meaningless. Haaretz does not rank in the top 100 Holy Jewish Sites, and was never considered a target.
Taking responsibility for the attack, Abu Agag from the Popular Front for Palestinian Cyber Supremacy said: “None of your walls are safe! Not the Wailing Wall of Al Aqsa Mosque, and not your firewalls and paywalls! We will smash through them all and liberate the Internet from the Zionist cyber-entity!”
(This is satire. Happy Purim)
This was also posted at [Times of Israel].