The Complex

Cyber collective Anonymous joins the conflict in Gaza

Well in case you missed it, the cyber element of Israel's current fight against Hamas in the Gaza strip is well underway. No, Hamas hasn't tried to send a reverse-engineered Stuxtnet style worm into Israeli nuclear facilities (though Israel has been live tweeting this conflict like crazy).  A third party has jumped into the fray and is taking aim at Israel.

Anonymous, the online activist collective (we're deliberately not using the term hacktivist) is hitting Israeli government sites - and possibly Mastercard's Israeli site -- with denial of service attacks and apparently published documents with personal details of 5,000 Israeli government officials in an operation organized under the Twitter hashtag, #OpIsrael.

This might be the first time that a third party has jumped into state versus whatever-you-want-to-call-Hamas (quasi-government, terrorist group?) conflict to fight in the cyber arena. We've seen what were likely nation-backed "civilian" hackers committing cyber attacks against Georgia during Russia's 2008 invasion there, but this adds a new twist to that angle. Sound off in the comments if you can think of a similar instance.

Still, it remains to be seen what, if any impact on the conflict Anonymous' actions will have.

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