As part of my job as a wealth reporter for Forbes, I’m responsible for valuating the personal fortunes of Israeli billionaires for our March Billionaires issue. I also cover the Swedes. And after having devoted a goodly portion of my week working on valuating the fortunes of the likes of H&M‘s Stefan Persson and investors Fredrik Lundberg and Melker Schorling, I decided to switch things up today (I know, wild) and return to work on the Israeli billionaires.
But I couldn’t access the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
The reason? A good old-fashioned, all-out, Middle Eastern hacker battle, as it turns out.
Over last weekend, a pro-Palestinian hacker group, which calls itself Nightmare, threatened to take down the TASE site as well as the site of Israeli airline El Al. The threats had been fueled by Hamas, which has been goading pro-Palestinian hackers to… hack more Israeli stuff.
Then, on Monday, Nightmare hackers did exactly what they threatened to do. The TASE and El Al sites were back up after a few hours.
A group of Israeli hackers, who call themselves IDF-TEAM, not to be outdone, retaliated by taking down the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) and the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) sites on Tuesday. It is probably worth mentioning that members of IDF-TEAM weren’t particularly sportsmanlike. They called the Nightmare hack “pathetic,” according to Haaretz.