From FireEye to Israel: Cyber Emergency Response Chief Warns ‘Everyone's a Target'

Israel has faced a slew of cyberattacks in recent months. The man in charge of responding to them tells Haaretz about how his team does it

Omer Benjakob
Omer Benjakob
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The Computer Emergency Response Team, a key component of Israel’s wider cyberauthority, has been extremely busy in recent weeks battling a clutch of attacks that have ended a year seeing a spike in cybercrime around the world.

The team, also known by its initials, CERT, is tasked with handling “cyber incidents in the civilian cyber sphere.” According to the government’s website, CERT “receives and handles hundreds of reports and information about cyber-attack attempts or threats, from local and international partners, on a daily basis.”

In fact, in an ominous end-of-the-year letter to the public Wednesday, the head of the wider National Cyber Directorate cited a 30 percent increase in the number of emergency calls about suspected cyberattacks. The end-of-year numbers provide a glimpse into the challenge: In 2020, the directorate investigated 16,000 specific attacks or attempted attacks against around 1,400 organizations.