The Israel Defense Force says that it stopped an attempted cyber attack launched by Hamas over the weekend, and retaliated with an airstrike against the building. It's believed to be the first time that a military has retaliated with physical violence in a real time against a cyberattack.
Violence erupted this weekend as Hamas and the IDF launched attacks against one another in the last three days. Hamas fired more than 600 rockets into Israel, while the IDF conducted its own strikes against hundreds of what it characterized as military targets. Thus far, at least 27 Palestinians and four Israeli civilians have been killed, with more than a hundred wounded. Tensions between Israel and Hamas have grown in the last year, with protests and violence erupting periodically. Reuters and The Wall Street Journal have good overviews of the situation.
During the battle on Saturday, the IDF says that Hamas launched a cyberattack against Israel. The Times of Israel It was designed to "[harm] the quality of life of Israeli citizens." It also indicated that the attack did not appear to be sophisticated and was quickly stopped. An IDF spokesperson told the publication that "Hamas has no longer has cyber capabilities after our strike."
The IDF released video that it says is the building that the cyberattack was launched from.
What a novel about this particular incident that has appeared to be the first time that a military has met a cyberattack with a real-world response during an ongoing battle. As ZDNet 's Catalin Cimpanus points out that the US is a member of ISIS back in 2015 after he released US service member records online, but that attack did not occur in real time. "Israel's response against Hamas marks the first time that a country has reacted with immediate military force to a cyber-attack in an active conflict," Cimpanu writes.
The attack raises serious questions about the incident, and what it means for similar incidents. A general principle of warfare and international humanitarian laws should be maintained. Given that the IDF admitted that it had been the attacker prior to the airstrike, the question (which, in turn, would not be allowed to launch a nuclear missile against a capitol city) is now or not. Either way, it opens up a worrying evolution in the state of modern warfare, given the threat that computer hackers can pose to military forces or nations.