The battle against terror is being fought in cyber space as well. Data provided by the International Cyber Convention at Tel Aviv University shows that there has been a 900% increase in the cyber attacks against Israeli government sites since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge.
“We deal with an average of 100,000 attacks a day, and in the last day we have been faced with 1,000,000 attacks”, said Major-General (res.) Yitzchak Ben Yisrael, head of the Cyber Center at Tel Aviv University, who spoke at the convention. Ben Yisrael pointed out that the attacks have originated from around the Muslim world, not only from Hamas, whose hacker unit is still primitive.
Ben Yisarel also indicated that the volume of attacks is probably higher. “We know of about 1 million attacks on government bodies and big companies. If a private individual is attacked – we have no account of it,” said Ben Yisrael. “People think that cyber attacks are about data security. Those are the easy attacks. The mass of attacks are against physical infrastructure. The trains, for instance, are piloted by computers. A virus inserted into the system can cause a deadly accident,“ he explained.
As an example, Ben Yisrael related to the Assad’s hacker unit – ‘the Syrian Electronic Army’. In 2012 they hacked the computers of an arrogation system in northern Israel and shut it down. “We initially received a notice that the entire water system in the Haifa area was down, “recalled Ben Yisrael, “the good news is that it was a false notice; the bad news is that a system was actually shut own.”