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Saudi stock exchange denies alleged cyber-attack on its website by Israeli hackers

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The Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) denied media reports that its website has been exposed to an alleged cyber-attack by Israeli hackers, a statement published on its website on Wednesday said.

The statement said that all Tadawul’s systems were operating properly and normally. The statement added that Tadawul applies many advanced security measures to guarantee the protection and of all its operations.

In fresh round of cyber warfare, Israel’s Haaretz reported on Wednesday that Israeli hackers, who go by the name IDF-Team, brought down the websites of both the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) and the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) in retaliation against Saudi attack on Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and El Al websites earlier this week.

The newspaper report said that IDF-Team were able to paralyze the Tadawul website, while causing significant delays to the ADX exchange site, in the latest episode of a continuing cyber war between hackers in Israel and Saudi Arabia.

The hackers warned that if the so-called Saudi hacker’s attacks continue, they will “move to the next stage and paralyze websites for a period of two weeks to a month,” according to Haaretz.

The statements came after hackers disrupted online access to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, El Al Airlines and three banks on Monday in what the government described as a cyber-offensive against Israel.

The attacks came just days after an unidentified hacker, proclaiming Palestinian sympathies, posted the details of thousands of Israeli credit card holders and other personal information on the Internet in a mass theft.

Stock trading and El Al flights operated normally despite the disruption, which occurred as Israeli media reported that pro-Palestinian hackers had threatened at the weekend to shut down the TASE stock exchange and airline Web sites.

The hackers, calling themselves ‘Nightmare’, have not been able to penetrate any of Israel's strategic infrastructure systems, such as the Water Authority, Israel Electric Co. and communication bodies, a report carried out by Israel’s Ynet news website said on Monday.

Meanwhile, the Saudi hacker known as “0xOmar” vowed in an email sent to Ynet on Monday that the cyber-attacks on Israel will grow stronger.

“I want to hurt/harm Israel in any way possible. I can harm them in Cyber world so I would do anything for this world. I'll let Israeli authorities cry and suffer,” he told Ynet.

“They have demanded an apology for Israel’s defensive measures,” Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said on his Facebook page, alluding to the conflict with Palestinians, according to Reuters.

(Additional writing by Abeer Tayel)