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April 7, 2016 4:11 pm

Cyber-Security Expert: More Damage Done to Israeli Economy by Daily Hacking Than Annual #OpIsrael Attack

avatar by Ruthie Blum

Email a copy of "Cyber-Security Expert: More Damage Done to Israeli Economy by Daily Hacking Than Annual #OpIsrael Attack" to a friend
Israeli expert says daily hacking more damaging than annual cyberattack. Photo: Wikipedia.

Israeli expert says daily hacking more damaging than annual cyberattack. Photo: Wikipedia.

Over a 24-hour period, a mass cyberattack against Israeli government and private business websites was launched by the hacker group “Anonymous,” the Hebrew news site nrg reported on Thursday.

Threats about the annual attack – dubbed #OpIsrael — which has taken place on April 7 every year since 2013 — were widely circulated on social media during the past few weeks, as The Algemeiner reported on Sunday.

These involved claiming that the purpose of the attack is “to punish the Zionist entity for continuing its murderous assaults and crimes against humanity that it commits against the Palestinian people.”

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But Gai Monorov, deputy chairman of the Israeli branch of the global non-profit organization ISAC (Information Systems Audit and Control Association) told nrg that far “more significant damage is caused to the Israeli economy from ongoing daily attacks on tens of thousands of computers in [the country].”

Indeed, according to nrg, computer technicians in Israel report being overloaded with work, due to an “unfathomable rise” in the number of calls for help as a result of various viruses and/or ransom demands to release encryptions.

However, he said, “We shouldn’t be dismissive of cyber-terror, even though it is routine in Israel and past experience shows that ‘Anonymous’ attacks caused minimal damage. Still, what has characterized the successful attacks is complacency on the part of Israeli website owners and their lack of a basic understanding of what they have to do to block them — actions that are often extremely easy to perform and at a low cost.”

By Thursday evening (Israel time), Anonymous claimed it had attacked at least 55 Israeli websites, among them government and military ones, according to JNS, though this has been denied by officials.

As The Algemeiner reported on Sunday, Amir Carmi, chief technology officer at the Israel branch of the security company ESET, provided five rules of thumb to the Hebrew news site Walla for safe surfing:

  1. Do not click on suspicious links in your email, SMS, What’sApp or social media inboxes. These might look innocent, and can even appear as though they are from friends or contacts. Your guiding principle should be not to click on any such link, unless you know for certain that it is safe.
  2. Never open attachments received via email or social media. The exception to this rule is an attachment you receive from someone you trust, and which you know for certain is meant for you. If you receive an unexpected attachment, it is better to ask the sender what it is before opening it.
  3. Update your operational system and other programs on your computer regularly. Microsoft updates, Adobe and Java are the most important of these.
  4. Do not download programs with which you are unfamiliar and whose source is unknown to you. Particularly suspicious are expensive programs offered for free. Such programs often turn out to be “costly” in other ways. There are many excellent and trustworthy free programs, but try to find user reviews or articles in respectable tech columns before installing any on your computer.
  5. Use protection. Anti-viruses or more comprehensive security packages are an additional layer of protection for your computer against malware and other forms of cyberattacks. Make sure your anti-virus has not expired and is up to date.

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