Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz revealed on Thursday that not only were rockets launched against Israel during Operation Pillar of Defense, but around 100 million cyberattacks on official Israeli web pages, including security and defense related pages, were also launched during the operation.
Employees in the Finance Ministry's computer division said that the millions of cyberattacks occurred over the past week.
Steinitz said the government's Counter-Cyberterrorism Unit set up a "cybernetic Iron Dome" during Operation Pillar of Defense. "Most of the attacks targeted security-related sites — sites associated with various ministries. The unit defended our computer systems," he said.
On Sunday, Steinitz said that of the 44 million attacks up to that point, just one hacking attempt was successful on a site he did not want to name, but it was up and running after 10 minutes of downtime. Typically, there are a few hundred hacking attempts per day on Israeli sites, the ministry said.
Attempts on defense-related sites have been the highest, while 10 million attempts have been made on the website of Israel's president, 7 million on the Foreign Ministry and 3 million on the prime minister's site.
A ministry spokesman said while the attacks have come from around the world, most have originated in Israel and the Palestinian territories.
Steinitz has instructed his ministry to operate in emergency mode to counter attempts to sabotage government sites.
Both sides in the Gaza conflict, but particularly Israel, are embracing social media as a tool of warfare. The Israel Defense Forces established a presence on nearly every platform available while Palestinian terrorists are mainly active on Twitter.
"The war is taking place on three fronts. The first is physical, the second is on the world of social networks and the third is cyber," said Carmela Avner, Israel's chief information officer.
Last month, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said cyberspace was the battlefield of the future, with attackers already going after banks and other financial systems. U.S. banks have been under sustained attack by suspected Iranian hackers thought to be responding to economic sanctions aimed at forcing Tehran to negotiate over its disputed nuclear program.