Experts warn this might be a smoke screen to divert attention from a potentially more serious attack attempt
Israel’s National Insurance Institute (Bituach Leumi) website was briefly downed yesterday (Wednesday) due to a Denial-of-Service (DoS) cyberattack. The Institute’s cyber and computer personnel took charge of this event, bringing the site back online after some two hours. According to the Institute, its database wasn’t hacked and no information was leaked.
“The aim of a DoS, or DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-Service Attack) is to create overwhelming traffic on the server, which eventually leads to its collapse as it cannot handle the load,” explains Alex Steinberg, Product Manager at ESET Israel. “This is usually a temporary attack, difficult to sustain over time, as it requires a great deal of resources.”
“Denial-of-Service attacks should be managed according to the rules defined by the organization, given its familiarity with customers’ browsing habits,” says cyber resilience expert, Einat Meron. “However, weaknesses might always emerge or develop, which requires regular attention that will allow for up-to-date, continuous assessments of the situation”.
Meron adds that “it is important to remember to always remember that any DoS attack might, in fact, serve as a smoke screen disguising a deeper, more sophisticated attack.” She believes that Israel’s National Security Institute is aware of this option, and that it has performed a comprehensive evaluation to ensure that this is it, as far as this particular breach is concerned.”
Yoram Hacohen, CEO of the Israel Internet Association and Chairperson of Privacy Israel, also called to verify if this event did happen in order to create a diversion that would enable another attack to take place uninterrupted.