While Anonymous claims to have caused $3 billion worth of damage to Israel's economy, the country's officials claim OpIsrael caused little damage or disruption.

OpIsrael: Israel Prepares to be 'Wiped Off the Internet'
Protesters from the Anonymous India group of hackers wear Guy Fawkes masks as they protest against laws they say gives the government control over censorship of internet usage in Mumbai, June 9, 2012. (Credit: Reuters)

It was a cyber-attack which promised to be the "largest Internet battle in the history of mankind" and would "wipe Israel off the map of the internet." What transpired over the weekend was something less spectacular.

Scheduled to coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day in Israel, and carried out under the banner of hacktivist collective Anonymous, OpIsrael was flagged-up by the attackers well in advance of the cyber-attack beginning on Saturday night.

According to Yitzhak Ben Yisrael, of Israel's National Cyber Bureau, the attackers mostly failed to shut down key sites.

"So far it is as was expected, there is hardly any real damage. Anonymous doesn't have the skills to damage the country's vital infrastructure. And if that was its intention, then it wouldn't have announced the attack ahead of time. It wants to create noise in the media about issues that are close to its heart," Ben Yisrael said.


The cyber-attack was part of the OpIsrael campaign which begin last November and is seeking to highlight perceived injustices in Israel's policies towards Palestinians.

While Israel's officials may be claiming the operation was a complete failure, Anonymous is saying otherwise.

The official OpIsrael twitter account made a lot of big claims over the weekend, at one stage saying more than 100,000 websites had been knocked off line; 30,000 Israeli bank accounts had been compromised; 40,000 Facebook accounts and 5,000 Twitter accounts had been hacked and a total of $3bn in damages had been inflicted.

Among the sites which were reportedly attacked was the Mossad website and the Israeli stock market website.

An Israeli government spokesman issued a statement saying its sites were operating as usual. It said an education ministry site was down temporarily due to a technical issue unrelated to hacking attempts.

While some smaller sites were reported to be defaced during the attack, it was the OpIsrael website itself which was one of the most high-profile victims of hacking over the weekend.

Israeli hackers hit back at those targeting their country by breaching the official OpIsrael website and posting pro-Israeli material on the site.