Hackers target Israel’s stock market, airline

A hacker network that claims to be based in Saudi Arabia paralyzed the websites of Israel's stock exchange and the nation's airline, El Al, the Associated Press reported.

El Al Israel Airlines and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange took down their websites after OxOmar, who has been linked to the Saudi group, warned that both sites would be targeted by pro-Palestinian hackers, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Monday's incidents are just the latest in a series of escalating cyber attacks to hit Israel.

Trading was not affected on Tel Aviv's stock exchange but it was overwhelmed by electronic requests that slowed it down dramatically.

"Right now, we're not seeing anything that's especially interesting or especially dangerous," said Gadi Evron, former head of Internet security for the Israeli government told the AP.

Yoni Shemesh, head of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange's website, said he began preparing for an attack days ago:

“We are putting up blocks to the hackers,” Shemesh told Israel Radio. “It is a real cyber war.”

Neither website contains sensitive information but the attacks are surprising given Israel's high-tech security.

The Jewish state is a common target on and offline for those opposing its policies toward the Palestinians.

The attacks began earlier this month when hackers identifying themselves as group-xp claimed to have gained access to 400,000 Israeli credit card accounts.

More from GlobalPost: Gaza group launches Israel attack… though this time it's cyber

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