Israel Police reports a staggering 8,377 cyberattacks for 2020

"I have no doubt that the number of cases that will deal with identity theft and the stealing of payment method information in 2021 will shatter all records."

A hooded man holds a laptop computer as a blue screen with an exclamation mark is projected on him in this illustration picture taken on May 13, 2017.  (photo credit: REUTERS/KACPER PEMPEL/ILLUSTRATION/FILE PHOTO)
A hooded man holds a laptop computer as a blue screen with an exclamation mark is projected on him in this illustration picture taken on May 13, 2017.
(photo credit: REUTERS/KACPER PEMPEL/ILLUSTRATION/FILE PHOTO)
Israel Police on Sunday reported that it has sustained 8,377 cyberattack cases so far in 2020, most of them concerning identity theft and document forgery, Israel Hayom exclusively reported.
The attacks discussed are reportedly not extremely alarming – but their craft will improve, and then they will be, warned Saar Gershoni, an intellectual property lawyer. "The police actors need to understand that the challenges that they are facing with cyberattacks – which are presently not very complicated in their methods and executions – will become quite complicated very quickly," he said. 
Of the 8,377 cases, some 2,093 are regarding "impersonation of another person for the purpose of deception" and another 2,795 are related to forgery.
Attacks have increased over the past year, and they are proving to be increasingly dangerous from a security standpoint. As recently as Friday, Israeli cybersecurity firm Portnox was reportedly hacked by the Iranian cyber group Pay2Key. Included in the leaked information was a 15-page-long report identifying security weaknesses in the noted Israeli defense company Elbit Systems.
Perhaps the most covered attack this year was the Black Shadow hack into the Shirbit insurance company. More material was leaked the longer the company refused to pay the ransom, extending the risk and danger of the attack to private individuals, as their important personal information – like ID cards and medical history – was leaked. A report later examined the timeline and method of the attack, and determined that Shirbit was not prepared enough for it, pointing out various flaws in the company's security system.
According to the report given to Israel Hayom, there are only 75 individuals who work at Lahav 433, the National Crime Unit, for this massive number of cases. They include 50 officers and 25 National Service volunteers and IDF soldiers.
Lahav 433 is the combination of five different crime investigation units, including the Serious and International Crime Unit (based in Lod), the National Economic Crimes Unit, the National Car Theft Unit, the National Fraud Squad and the Gidonim Unit for intelligence gathering and special operations.
"From our perspective, we aren't even close to having a complete picture of the efforts that Israel Police puts into the war on cyberattacks," added Gershoni. "That said, I am convinced that the fact that a[n investigative police] cyber unit that only has tens of officers cannot possibly answer the needed call."
Back in August, "Lazarus," a group believed to be backed by North Korea, targeted Israeli defense companies using different hacking techniques, chief among them impersonation, specifically of CEOs and high-ranking members of human resources departments, as well as "social engineering," confirming what the Sunday report said. The Israeli defense establishment at the time claimed that they thwarted the attack in time.
"I have no doubt that the number of cases that will deal with identity theft and the stealing of payment method information in 2021 will shatter all records," Gershoni predicted. "Accordingly, the methods that Israel Police uses to tackle these cases and the attacker behind the attacks will [need to] diversify and strengthen."