Poland approves Missile Shield Despite Russian Protest – And Possible Hacking Attempts?

sm-3 interceptor

Poland confirmed today that they will move forward with building a national missile defense shield. A move that will no doubt draw the ire of Russia and possible cyber attacks as they see the missile shield as a threat to their national security.

Today, Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski signed into law an amendment guaranteeing funds for the program through 2023. Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski told Parliment:

We will create our own air defense system. Our national missile shield, with the American shield, the elements of which will be on our territory by 2018 and will make up part of the NATO system.”

Poland’s president also met with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili on Thursday to express support for their interest in increasing ties with Europe and bilateral relations. Russia has had rocky relations with Georgia since they declared their independence in 1991 and the Russia-Georgia war in 2008.

The missile defense plan has drawn strong opposition from Russia as they see the shield as a threat to their national security. Add to that Poland’s increasing ties with the US, Georgia and NATO, and you have a potential powder keg.

Last month, Poland’s presidential network was hacked, and the Defence and Foreign Affairs Ministries offices were also attacked. Apparently a hacker known as Alladyn2 has claimed responsibility for the attack. Alladyn2 was quoted as saying his attacks were meant only to “test the government’s ability to withstand them“.

The hacker also claimed to attack the Polish network a year ago and there is a Pastebin post under his name with a list of NT Active Directory account hashes supposedly obtained from a Polish government site in 2012 (But posted last month).

Though Poland has been under attack in the past by the hacker group Anonymous, these were mostly Distributed Denial of Service type attacks, not direct hacking attempts.

Could it have been Russia that was truly behind the intrusion attempts of Poland’s government network?

We may truly never know, as they are not going to release information about it. But with the open protest of Poland’s proposed missile defense shield, and their increased ties with the West, it is definitely a strong possibility.

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Israel’s Cyber Defenses Protect Government Sites from 44 Million Attacks

As Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense shield blocks hundreds of incoming missiles from hitting their target, their cyber defense is also hard at work blocking millions of incoming cyber attacks. There have been millions of hacking attempts against government sites that have been intercepted with reportedly only one successfully taking down it’s target. And that for only a few minutes.

Israeli finance minister Yuval Steinitz told reporters that Israel is facing a second front in the battle with Hamas, a wave of cyber attacks. According to Steinitz, Israel’s cyber defense “deflected 44 million cyber attacks on government websites. All the attacks were thwarted except for one, which targeted a specific website that was down for six or seven minutes.”

Of the 44 million attacks:

  • The majority targeted military sites
  • 10 Million attacks targeted President Shimon Peres’s website
  • 7 Million against Israel’s Foreign Ministry
  • 3 million against Benjamin Netanyahu’s site

“The ministry’s computer division will continue to block the millions of cyber attacks” Minister Steinitz said adding, “We are enjoying the fruits of our investment in recent years in developing computerized defense systems.

But apparently, their defense does not defend against Denial of Service attacks as many Israeli sites still appear to be unavailable due to high traffic as this current screenshot of the President’s website shows:

And the Blog of the Israeli Defense Force seems to be offline. This is odd as it is protected by CloudFlare, a company that helps block Denial of Service Attacks :

Israel’s Iron dome is a missile defense shield that works very well. Hamas terrorists have fired approximately 1,000 missiles at Israeli cities. Of these, Iron Dome has successfully intercepted 90% of the projectiles that would have hit populated areas:

We’ve got about a 90% success rate,” he says, proudly giddy. “This is unprecedented in history.” It’s also impossible to confirm, but the lack of Israeli casualties suggests Iron Dome is the most-effective, most-tested missile shield the world has ever seen.

But Israel knows that they must do something about the cyber attacks. The hacker group Anonymous claims to have taken down about 700 Israeli websites, defaced over 100 and apparently wiped Jerusalem’s Bank database(which has since been restored).

Israel is in the process of creating a “Digital Iron Dome”, which according to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will protect them against future cyber attacks:

Every day, many attempts are made to infiltrate Israel’s computer systems,” the prime minister warned. “Just as we have the Iron Dome against missiles and the security fence against infiltrators and terrorism, we will have a similar protection against cyber-attacks.

Defense will help against incoming attacks, but don’t forget that Israel also has offensive cyber capabilities. The country that helped develop “Stuxnet” is not toothless in the realm of cyber attack. One can safely assume that Israel is tracking the sources of these attacks and will deal with them as they see fit.

Israel using Air Strikes, Tweets and YouTube in the Battle Against Hamas

In response to yet another barrage of Hamas rocket attacks, Israel strikes back with targeted air strikes, but also with social media including tweets and YouTube videos!

“Since the start of the operation yesterday, IDF forces have struck 105 terror targets in the #Gaza Strip”, the Official IDF spokesperson (@IDFSpokesperson) twitter feed stated just a few minutes ago.

The IDF tweeted that over 50 rockets were fired from Gaza at Israel since yesterday, making the total rockets launched against Israel in 2012 more than 800!

Attacks against Israel by the terrorist group Hamas is not a new thing. And according to the IDF over one million Israelis are under threat of the attacks. The following map shows the different rockets that terrorists are using against Israel and the population that is within reach of the weapons:

But Israel is not defenseless against these threats. As IDF airstrikes and Naval assaults take out launch sites, their “Iron Dome” missile shield takes out incoming rockets that are aimed at populated areas. The Iron Dome is a system somewhat like the American Patriot missile batteries, but it can track and intercept smaller incoming projectiles like rockets and artillery rounds.

According to the IDF, “People in southern Israel have 15 seconds to run to shelter every time a rocket alarm sounds“, and “Tonight, more than 1 million Israelis are going to sleep in bomb shelters” but it sounds like Israel’s missile shield is performing very well as of tonight, “the Iron Dome system successfully intercepted 28 rockets fired from Gaza at major Israeli population centers.”

Israel is not just using Twitter to keep the world up to date on the defensive operation, they are also using YouTube. The following warning to Hamas was sent out about 10 hours ago:

And then an hour later a Twitter notification that Israel had eliminated Ahmed Jabari, the alleged head of Hamas Military Wing with this poster attached:

And finally a Tweet claiming a pinpoint strike on Ahmed Jabari, including a link to a YouTube video:

Of course Hamas is threatening retaliation. And I am sure Islamic cyber groups and hacktivists will get involved because of Israel’s choice to use social media. We shall see what comes of this in the days to come.

As for now, my heart goes out to all those who are suffering tonight. And as the Bible says, please pray for the Peace of Jerusalem.

Israel’s Iron Dome Automatically Intercepts Incoming Gaza Rockets

Great video of Israel’s new “Iron Dome” system intercepting an incoming rocket fired from Gaza. Israel’s three portable anti-rocket batteries have been very busy indeed the last few days as they have intercepted about 170 inbound rockets that targeted Israeli cities. So far the Iron Dome’s successful intercept rate is above 90%, and no Israeli civilians have been killed.

With the threat of a nuclear Iran and constant rocket attacks, it is more important now than ever to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

Psalm 122:6 – “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love you.