Websites need locking down, if a site or blog has commenting enabled or contact forms available, that makes them more vulnerable, sites with unmaintained plugins and CMS systems such as Magento and WordPress core files that are not regularly updated are normally the ones that are hacked first.
Most hacks I see on political sites and blogs are actually carried out by commercial criminals (Chinese and Russian), looking to use your platform to sell pharmaceuticals or fake designer wear, which is the case generally case across the web, don’t take their attacks too personally.
Occasionally we see mass defacements (cyber-vandalism) by arab/islamic interest and “anonymous” hacking groups, but they are only rarely targeted, except if you call attack random random if they target just .il sites (Israeli domains), but use automated scripts to find random vulnerable sites, so the vast majority are just “low hanging fruit”.
But what is targetted and becoming more common are “Denial of Service” attacks by arab/islamic interest and “anonymous” “hacktivist” groups, the symptom of these are your hosting server resources being exhausted, your site “going down” with 500 server errors, and in extreme cases your hosting company will take you offline.
They either attack you as a collective in short bursts, or if they really hate free speech, they will use a paid DDoS’ing service and the attacks will go on for weeks or months, I suspect some of the heavier attacks I deal with are state sponsored, as the attackers costs must be huge. The same paid debilitating DDoS services are used by criminal gangs for extortion or to “take down” their sponsor’s competitors site.
Hosting companies will normally just give you the reason for your outages and 500 server errors as being a lack of resources, upselling you more resources to keep you online, that will buy you some more uptime, but the attacks will normally escalate, forcing you to upgrade again and again, I believe this is intentional behaviour of the attackers, as running up your bills would be their victory.
Whatever the cause or whoever the bad actors are, it can be controlled, I have kept sites up and functional that were under 60 million attacks a day, don’t panic if you’re under attack, don’t take it personally, get support and don’t give in restricting your freedom of speech.