Iranian hackers shut down Israeli newspaper website

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Iranian hackers shut down the Jerusalem Post website for several hours on Monday morning, local time. Instead of news reports, visitors were shown a photo, with a reference to the attack on the Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. The Twitter account of the Israeli newspaper Maariv was also hacked by the attackers.

Red ring and exploding nuclear power plant

Those who visited the website of The Jerusalem Post early this morning were treated to a photo. The photo showed a hand with a red-coloured ring. A rocket was launched from the ring, which flies towards a scale model that is supposed to represent an exploding nuclear power plant. Above it is the text in English and Hebrew, “We are closer than you think”.

The ring is a reference to Qasem Soleimani, a senior general in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRG), according to the Israeli newspaper. The IRGC is Iran’s elite military corps, led by Iran’s spiritual leader. Soleimani was known for wearing a red ring.

Today marks exactly two years since the Iranian general was killed. Soleimani was killed on January 3, 2020, by a US drone strike near Baghdad airport. He was responsible for several attacks in Syria and Yemen.

‘Prepare for a surprise’

It is difficult to say who is behind the hacking attack, according to The Jerusalem Post. It may be Iranian hackers or supporters of the Iranian government who carried out the attack on behalf of the government.

It is not the first time that The Jerusalem Post has been attacked. In May 2020, Iranian hackers posted a photo of the city of Tel Aviv supposedly going up in flames on the front page of the newspaper. In addition, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has depicted swimming to a life preserver. “Prepare for a surprise” was the caption.

Second Israeli newspaper targeted by Iranian hackers

Not only The Jerusalem Post was the target of the Iranian hackers. The Twitter account of the Israeli newspaper Maariv was also briefly taken over by the attackers. The same photo was published there as on the website of The Jerusalem Post. Maariv’s editors have since regained control of her

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