Israelis Forming “Citizen Cyber Brigades” as digital attacks increase

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Israel’s cybersecurity community is mobilizing to defend against a surge of continuous cyber attacks in the wake of Saturday’s Hamas attack that killed over 1,200 people and took hundreds of hostages.

Members of Israel’s technology community have formed an “all-volunteer Israel Tech Guard” to help in the search for hostages and missing people.

According to Microsoft, Israel is the Middle Eastern country most targeted by nation-state cyberattacks. Israel’s industrial systems have become constant, with attacks coming from Iran, Syria and pro-Russia hacktivist group Killnet. 

Many municipal and consumer websites have been targets of DDos attacks, including the website of the Jerusalem Post. 

Snehal Antani, CEO and Co-Founder of (former CTO within U.S. Special Operations) had this comment:

   “First and foremost, most employees of Israeli companies are reservists first, and are now preparing to fight. This isn’t a video game or a liberal arts thesis, this is real for the victims, the reservists, and families. Those that oppose terrorism should find ways to support the fight, not with an eye for profit, but with the sincere desire to help.

   “From a cybersecurity standpoint, there have been several reports of Hacktivist groups targeting Israeli critical infrastructure and industries. Given the robust cyber ecosystem within Israel, I expect Israeli industries are prepared for cyber warfare.

   “The “combined digital arms” of synchronizing information operations with cyber has been accelerated with AI, empowering Hacktivist groups with capabilities once only available to nation states. We should expect highly effective disinformation campaigns that, when combined with cyber attacks that steal information or disrupt systems, will shape the information battlefield globally.”

Roy Akerman, Co-Founder & CEO, Rezonate (Former chief of cyber defense operations in Israel) follows with this:

   “Israel has called up everyone in active reserve service, both in infantry and support roles, to join the effort. Induction orders have been sent to those in active service – in Israel, US and abroad.  Pilots, infantry, intelligence, and many others, with the backing of high-tech companies and both Israeli and Jewish groups, are boarding planes to offer their support.

   “Those not immediately required are assisting from here through donations, organizing the mobilization of Israelis who can join the protective efforts, and more. We are witnessing an increasing trend of efforts from Israel’s adversaries, both organized and unorganized, to introduce a cyber-attack dimension to this conflict. As for Israeli companies in the US, Israel, and in General, many have a strong presence globally and continue to operate as usual, to the best of my knowledge. Rezonate, along with numerous other security firms, is offering assistance to Israeli companies whose teams have been inducted, providing various forms of support to safeguard them in cyberspace.”

This perhaps should not be a surprise as wars in 2023 are no longer fought on the battlefield. They’re fought in cyberspace as well. Hopefully this conflict is short lived as any conflict, in real live and in cyberspace is never a good thing.

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