Israel's Cyber-Hotline

Israel has launched a cyber hotline, staffed mostly by veterans of military computing units, to enable businesses and private individuals to report suspected hacking and receive real-time solutions. The 119 call-in number to the Computer Emergency Response Centre (CERT) is being billed by Israel and cyber experts as a world first.

"Our job is to mitigate the damage as quickly as possible, to learn about the threats and to spread the knowledge where relevant," CERT director Lavy Shtokhamer told Reuters at the facility in the southern hi-tech hub city of Beersheba.

"A cyber-attack may not be limited only to property or financial damage. It can also threaten lives."
In some cases, Shtokhamer said, CERT will dispatch teams of experts to affected computer users at a few hours' notice.

At the centre, 20 responder terminals face a bank of huge screens, one of which shows a world map with cyber-attacks rendered as meteor-like strikes on Israel and the country of origin of computer servers used by the hackers. When Reuters viewed the facility, these were in the northeastern United States, western Europe and Indonesia - details Shtokhamer played down given hackers' use of proxy servers to mask their true locations. He declined to elaborate on this. Ahead of Israel's April 9 election, its officials have been reticent about the possibility of online influence campaigns of the kind Russia has been accused of waging in the West, or about Chinese cyber-espionage.

Israeli cyber expertise is also widely believed to have been used in sabotage against Iran's nuclear programme and controversial surveillance software made available to foreign clients.

Since its launch in January, the hotline has received around 100 calls daily, Shtokhamer said. Most complainants, he said, have been victims of cyber-criminals rather than nation-states, and less than one percent were hoax reports. Around 15 per cent of callers have been so-called "white hackers", sleuths who find vulnerabilities in corporate or government systems and want them plugged before they can be hit.

CERT also runs a chat room that links up the technology officers of Israel's major firms for candid but discreet information-sharing about data breaches.

Michael Levi, a Cardiff University criminology professor who has advised EU and UN agencies on cyber-security, described the Israeli hotline as unique and said it could catch on elsewhere.

"The keys are good advice and no leaks, and using patterns to build up good threat assessments and rapid responses," he said. "The earlier you get reports the more you can prevent."

Channel News Asia

You Might Also Read: 

Cybersecurity In Israel:

« Cyber Attribution Could Tear Apart NATO
UK And EU Will Connect With Cybersecurity After Brexit »

Directory of Suppliers

DigitalStakeout

DigitalStakeout

A simple and cost-effective solution to monitor, investigate and analyze data from the web, social media and cyber sources to identify threats and make better security decisions.

Go Cyber

Go Cyber

Go Cyber is a new, highly innovative cyber security training app that uses action based learning to significantly improve the online behaviour of all employees in less than a month.

Clayden Law

Clayden Law

Clayden Law are experts in information technology, data privacy and cybersecurity law.

WEBINAR: How to improve security visibility and detection-response operations in AWS

WEBINAR: How to improve security visibility and detection-response operations in AWS

Thursday 30 January 2020: Join SANS and AWS Marketplace to learn how you can reduce noise from security alerts and prioritize incidents more effectively.

CSI Consulting Services

CSI Consulting Services

Get Advice From The Experts: * Training * Penetration Testing * Data Governance * GDPR Compliance. Connecting you to the best in the business.

XYPRO Technology

XYPRO Technology

XYPRO is the market leader in HPE Non-Stop Security, Risk Management and Compliance.

Practice Labs

Practice Labs

Practice Labs is an IT competency hub, where live-lab environments give access to real equipment for hands-on practice of essential cybersecurity skills.

ZenGRC

ZenGRC

ZenGRC - the first, easy-to-use, enterprise-grade information security solution for compliance and risk management - offers businesses efficient control tracking, testing, and enforcement.

IT Governance

IT Governance

IT Governance is a leading global provider of information security solutions. Download our free guide and find out how ISO 27001 can help protect your organisation's information.

LRQA

LRQA

LRQA is a world leading, independent provider of Business Assurance services including management system certification such as ISO 27001.

Zurich

Zurich

Zurich’s Security and Privacy policy is designed to manage financial and reputational costs as a result of a breach of network security or unauthorized access or release of private information.

Avatu

Avatu

Avatu specialise in providing clients the advice, technology and tools they need to fight cyber and insider threats.

SafeCharge

SafeCharge

SafeCharge is a global provider of technology-based multi-channel payments services and risk management solutions for demanding businesses.

CyberInsurance.co.uk

CyberInsurance.co.uk

CyberInsurance.co.uk is a specialist cyber insurance provider offering products for start-ups, SMEs and large businesses.

NovaTech

NovaTech

NovaTech products and services make the world’s power grids and essential process industries more reliable, efficient, sustainable and secure.