Israel’s Airstrike on Hamas Hackers: First Real-Time Physical Retaliation Against Cyberattack

By CircleID Reporter
Israel’s Airstrike on Hamas Hackers: First Real-Time Physical Retaliation Against Cyberattack

Amid escalating violence between Israel and Gaza this weekend, the Israeli Defense Force claimed it bombed and partially destroyed the base of an active Hamas hacking group in Gaza. The incident has been particularly noteworthy among cybersecurity professionals. Wired's Lily Hay Newman writes: "The assault seems to be the first true example of a physical attack being used as a real-time response to digital aggression—another evolution of so-called "hybrid warfare." That makes it a landmark moment, but one that analysts caution must be viewed in the context of the conflict between Israel and Palestine, rather than as a standalone global harbinger."

Why a first: Although physical retaliations have occurred against cyberattacks in the past including in Estonia, Georgia and US 2015 airstrike to assassinate Islamic state hacker Junaid Hussain, these were all planned events plotted out over several months, notes Newman. Israel's weekend attack was a real-time response to the alleged base of an active Hamas hacking group.

Expecting more: Security expert Bruce Schneier says he expects this sort of thing to happen more — "not against major countries, but by larger countries against smaller powers. Cyberattacks are too much of a nation-state equalizer otherwise."

Related topics: Cyberattack

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