“Since the beginning of operation protective edge, and especially since the IDF’s ground entrance into the Gaza Strip, There is a dramatic increase in cyber attacks against Israel. The figures have risen by thousands percent compared to more peaceful times, and they are three times the attacks that were endured during operation pillar of cloud”, said Ophir Ben Avi, Head of the E-Government in the ministry of finance, in an interview to People and Computers.
Although refusing to specify sites that have been attacked, Ben Avi puts the count of attacks on public and government sites in the tens of millions region.
Most of the attacks, he noted, are DoS (Denial of Service). “Apart for a number of attacks which we are testing right now, we haven’t seen a high level of technological sophistication. It’s about strength and multitude, the scope is bigger than anything we’ve experienced before,” he explains, and that “we follow a set procedure in this kind of situation, and we focus on hardening our defensive systems while cutting down on maintenance and investing mostly in defending the different government sites. We have experience with scenarios like this, so we started working in emergency mode, with reinforced and increased shifts around the clock, also freezing any access to the server farm.”
Ben Avi mentioned that the E-government war room is locating attacks on government sites in real time and at any given moment, also pointing out their source. “We continue to block the millions of cyber attacks. We enjoy the results of the investment that was made in recent years in developing computerized defense systems, but we have a lot more work. Attackers trying to hit the government websites regularly.”
It was reported in the beginning of the week that the cyber defense unit in the SHABAK, along with the IDF, managed to thwart cyber attacks carried by pro-Palestinian hackers, that came after Anonymous’ statement of planned large scaled cyber attack on Friday. Israeli security and cyber defense companies spotted preparations for such an attack. SHABAK stated that “Hackers attacks against government sites, media sites and private enterprises in Israel were thwarted.” According to the Organization, the activity was meant to mark the Iranian Al Quds day.
Ben Avi said on the weekend that it was very challenging and that the E-Government systems endured large number of attacks, that were also the most massive. “Throughout operation Protective Edge, E-Government sites were functioning. We are continuing with the same level of readiness, and when matters in the actual battle field cool down, we believe that we’ll feel that in the cyber arena as well,” He concluded.