Cyberwarfare / Nation-State Attacks , Fraud Management & Cybercrime , Video

How Cyberattacks Could Affect the Israel-Hamas War

SANS Institute's Rob T. Lee on Cyber Activity in Israel, Hamas and Iran
Rob T. Lee, chief curriculum director and head of faculty, SANS Institute (Image: SANS Institute)

It could be weeks or months before outsiders have a clear picture of the cyber dimension of the conflict between Hamas and Israel, a cyber expert said.

See Also: How to Stop a Potential Ransomware Attack Before it Happens

For now, the digital arena seems limited to amateurish hacktivism conducted by third parties. But it's possible that nation-states implicated in the conflict, including Israel and Iran, have targeted communications and command and control digital infrastructure, said Rob T. Lee of the SANS Institute.

"As some of these stories come out, as we will start to learn about what was actually targeted," he told Information Security Media Group.

Israeli foes might first start with cyberattacks before escalating to kinetic attacks to avoid drawing more nations into the conflict, Lee also said (see: How the Cybersecurity Industry Is Aiding Israel's War Effort).

"When you start talking about the offensive capabilities of nation-states, it's primarily focused on intelligence gathering," Lee said. "That would potentially lead to understanding where future military action is going to take place so they could potentially counter it before the kinetic side occurs."

In this video interview with Information Security Media Group, Lee also discussed:

  • Why Israel's cyber capabilities didn't prevent Saturday's attack by Hamas;
  • The cyber capabilities Israel, Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran bring to the table;
  • How the United States can support, assist Israel from a cyber standpoint.

Lee has more than 20 years of experience in computer forensics, incident response, threat hunting, vulnerability and exploit discovery and intrusion detection and prevention. He has worked directly with a variety of government agencies, the U.S. Department of Defense and intelligence agencies as the technical lead for a vulnerability discovery and an exploit development team, lead for a cyber forensics branch, and lead for a digital forensic and security software development team. Lee was a founding member of the first U.S. military operational unit focused on information operations.

About the Author

Michael Novinson

Michael Novinson

Managing Editor, Business, ISMG

Novinson is responsible for covering the vendor and technology landscape. Prior to joining ISMG, he spent four and a half years covering all the major cybersecurity vendors at CRN, with a focus on their programs and offerings for IT service providers. He was recognized for his breaking news coverage of the August 2019 coordinated ransomware attack against local governments in Texas as well as for his continued reporting around the SolarWinds hack in late 2020 and early 2021.

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