Israel ranked as the number one country targeted by hackers

December 29, 2020

Israel ranked as the number one country targeted by hackers and cybercriminals

A recent report published by the US data protection company F5 labs revealed Israel to be the most targeted country by hackers and cybercriminals. In 2020 Israel made it into the Top-5 list and to number one with 180,000 identified hacking attempts.

According to Israeli economic newspaper, Calcalist, the study by F5, which was carried out during the third quarter of 2020, specifically between mid-July to mid-October, reports that Israel has surpassed other countries that were main targets for cyber-attacks, such as India, the U.S., Russia, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia.

The researchers based their report on an analysis obtained from data of global honeypot traps, a computer system intended to mimic potential targets of cyberattacks, collected over several months. The analysis revealed that while the sources of these attacks are largely unclear, the report further attributes most IP addresses associated with the hacks as linked to Russian networks, and potentially to Iranian hackers.

The most worrisome factor in this increasing interest in Israel is the use of sophisticated hacking tools, which, if obtained by the wrong hands can cause serious harm to state companies and bodies.

As Lior Frenkel, CEO and co-founder of Waterfall Security Solutions told Calcalist, although there are many potential reasons that stand behind an increase in attackers’ interest in Israel, including the government shift in the US, tension with Iran and other Muslim countries, the main reason as per Frenkel, is the shift of criminal organizations to cyber attacks for monetary gain, specifically ransomware attacks.

Interestingly, while there is an increase of cyberattacks carried out by enemy states and organizations, such as Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah, who use these types of attacks to escalate the conflict without a direct confrontation with Israel, an additional recent type of identified attacks is combined attacks. In these attacks, cybercriminals carry out attacks on behalf of state actors while pretending to act independently, as was the case in recent cyber-attacks on an Israeli company.

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