Military strategists have known for centuries that a defense is only as strong
as its weakest link. In today’s Internet-dependent world, infested with
hostile, sophisticated hackers, the axiom holds truer than
, apparently from Saudi Arabia, found one poorly
connected to two online-coupon websites, and used it to access a
large number of credit card numbers.RELATED:
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The hackers chose to target
hard-working Israeli families, many struggling to make ends meet. They hoped to
create pandemonium and disruption in Israel, and encouraged others to rob the
families using stolen credit card details.
Thanks to the swift responses
of credit card companies, which scrambled to suspend the affected accounts, the
damage appears to be minimal.
But the attack serves as a warning over how
vulnerable a country’s vital assets can be if holes in the fence are not
Last summer, the Knesset’s Science and Technology Committee
warned that “without tanks, and without planes... it is possible to bring about
the collapse of a state, and no military can come to the rescue.”
has already taken concrete steps to protect national infrastructure such as
electricity, communications, water, transport and monetary systems.
critical sites are protected by the National Cyber Defense
According to the Israel Defense magazine, the authority is run
by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), and the organization will soon extend
its protective shield to cover banks and cellphone networks.
privately owned commercial websites, however, have not yet been brought into the
loop, and likely represent the weakest link in the chain.
published earlier this year by Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National
Security Studies noted that a worldwide cyber arms race has begun. Governments
around the world have set up offices and headquarters dedicated to this latest
The study warned that non-state actors such as terrorist
organizations also posed a danger to Internet security.
card attack was a relatively minor incident. But the potential for mayhem caused
by a successful attack is great.
Time is of the essence to bringing the
commercial Internet sector up to speed on Internet security.
Lappin is the author of
Virtual Caliphate: Exposing the Islamist State on the