SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: April 04, 2023

Attack Types: Other

Institution(s):Ben-Gurion University of the Negev | Haifa University | Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Open University of Israel | Reichman University | Tel Aviv University | Weizmann Institute of Science

Region & Country:Western Asia | Israel

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On April 4, 2023, a hacker group conducted a cyber attack against the websites of seven Israeli universities.

The targeted universities included Tel Aviv University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Haifa University, Weizmann Institute of Science, Open University of Israel, and Reichman University. A hacker group known as “Anonymous Sudan” posted on their Telegram account that they conducted the attack in response to Israeli government and military actions in Palestine.

According to the Israeli cyber security firm, Check Point, the cyber attack targeted the website services only; the hackers did not steal information. The websites of all seven universities were reported as operating normally after the attack.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about attacks on university infrastructure, including technological infrastructure, in order to exert political pressure on the university or the state. Such actions undermine academic freedom and university autonomy, and harm the ability of universities to perform their essential academic functions.