A hacker collective called Killnet, alleged to be affiliated with the Kremlin, has launched a cyberattack against the Israeli government amid the escalating conflict sparked by the surprise attack by Hamas on Saturday.

On Sunday morning, the group issued a statement via Telegram alleging that the Israeli government was guilty of terrorist attacks, saying: “Back in 2022, you supported the terrorist regime of Ukraine.

“You betrayed Russia. Today Killnet officially informs you about it! All Israeli government systems will be subject to our attacks!”

Killnet followed up with its statement by posting a photograph showing that the Israeli government's website was offline, writing: "The primary government site of the Israeli regime has been killed!"

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Hours later, Killnet's official Telegram clarified that the organization was not against the Israeli people but rather against the "Israeli regime," which has "sold itself to the NATO whore."

It added: “Civilians of Gaza and Israel do not have the right to give their lives for the sake of bastards from Europe.”

The group has denied it worked for the Kremlin, but experts Kyiv Post spoke to say the available evidence suggests otherwise.

Two senior European intelligence officers, who work on cybersecurity matters related to Russia, told Kyiv Post that Killnet is closely linked to the Russian government.

One of the intelligence officers denied that Killnet could be simply like "pirates" that are attacking enemy countries' web resources with the loose "endorsement" of the Kremlin, saying: “If that was the case, then why do they not work on Russian government holidays? They are the Russian government.”

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Earlier this year, the US Department of Health and Human Services issued a report indicating that Killnet "should be considered a threat to government and critical infrastructure organizations including healthcare."

Last week, in response to the International Red Cross issuing a series of "rules of engagement for hackers," imploring hackers to not attack humanitarian or hospital targets, the BBC quoted Killnet's founder's reaction as having been: "Why should I listen to the Red Cross?"

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A white hat hacker who has worked to counter Russian hacking threats to American targets, told Kyiv Post that Killnet operates to advance Russia's interests abroad, including "highly politicized and well-timed attacks that occur in tandem with information operations being conducted by BRICS governments.”

They highlighted that though not as famous as their Russian colleagues Sandworm or Fancy Bear, Killnet is “an advanced threat actor group,” adding multiple Islamic state actors, Islamic non-state actors, and Russian groups operate under this Killnet banner in order to take advantage of the cover of “hacktivism.”

They claimed that Killnet “is merely a cover for nation-state operations.”

Less than 16 hours after the initial terrorist attacks, Reuters reported that the Arab League's chief, who deals with Palestinian affairs, was headed to Moscow as "proper negotiation" is "necessary to provide for the creation of an independent Palestinian state within the borders of 1967 with a capital in East Jerusalem.

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When asked if Moscow was perhaps signaling that it is taking the side of Hamas in the conflict with Israel, the white hat hacker said: "Not only that but it shows that the people of Russia truly despise the people of Israel."

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