Risk Posed by Hackers in Israel 

Written by Mike Boutwell

September 16, 2022

Aside from the global pandemic that has played a significant role in crippling the world, cyber warfare is another threat which wreaks havoc on nations. Cybercriminals have sophisticated technology at their disposal, which they use to infect their target government organizations and major businesses. To shield from such a barrage of attacks is extensively costly and unreliable.

Israel is a country that is approximately targeted every week as multiple institutions are hit with cyber attacks. There is a constant bombardment of infiltrations which are ultimately motivated by money. But in recent times, the behaviour of these hackers has changed as they have started targeting mid-sized businesses such as insurance companies and dating sites. 

Cyber attacks by Iran

Such cyber invasions have been linked to Iran, but the public nature of such attacks are most concerning. As if the hackers intentionally wanted to broadcast their notoriousness. Due to the bitter animosity between Iran and Israel, such attacks aim to spread a sense of terror and fear in the Israeli masses.

According to Cybersecurity firm VirusTotal, Israel was the country most affected by ransomware between January 2020 and October 2021. In April 2020, Israel suffered a vicious cyber attack on their water facilities, such as agricultural plants, sewage systems, and pumping and wastewater stations. The threat actors attempted to hack five Israeli water facilities with the malicious goal of raising chlorine levels in the water. 

If such an attempt had not been successfully thwarted, severe health issues among the Israeli civilians and a significant setback to the agricultural industry would have occurred. Even though the cybercriminals involved in this attack were not identified, the alleged threat actor was considered Iran. 

Ransomware attacks

In 2021, a ransomware cyber attack struck the Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera. It completely collapsed its computer system. Moreover, a few days later, the National Cyber Directorate claimed that it had obstructed a wave of cyberattacks attempted on more Israeli hospitals and health centres.

The attack aimed at Tourism.

Recently in July 2022, data of 300,000 Israelis were leaked by Iranian hackers who attacked travel booking sites. The attack featured Gol Tours Ltd, a tourist organization, the owner of over 20 travel booking websites. The hackers leaked sensitive information such as telephone numbers, addresses, dates and locations of reserved vacations, and medical information. 

Tourism plays a vital role in maintaining the infrastructure of any country, and Israel is no exception to this. Significant benefits that tourism provides Israel include the rise of economic status, job opportunities, and improved cultural relations between the foreigners and host citizens, aside from much more. In short, this primary source of revenue for the Israeli nation was targeted ruthlessly by Iranian hackers.

In conclusion, the Israeli government has instructed companies to bolster their cyber security in the face of such attacks. There is a renewed initiative to safeguard the country against online invasion as major Israeli companies must execute detailed planning to identify and secure themselves in the future. 

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