On October 24, 2011, Israel’s Data Protection Authority, the Israeli Law, Information and Technology Authority in the Israeli Ministry of Justice (“ILITA”), announced significant developments in an information theft case affecting more than nine million Israeli citizens. In 2006, a contract worker hired by Israel’s Ministry of Welfare and Social Services downloaded a copy of Israel’s population registry to his home computer. The registry later fell into the hands of a software developer and a hacker before being disseminated on the Internet along with a program that allowed users to run searches and queries on the data. The stolen personal information included full names, identification numbers, addresses, dates of birth, dates of immigration to Israel, family status, names of siblings and other information.
After the Israeli police were unable to identify a suspect in 2008, ILITA launched an investigation of its own in 2009. ILITA’s investigation was Israel’s first complex computer crime investigation that focused exclusively on the use and disclosure of personal data. The investigation, which was led by ILITA’s Yoram Hacohen, involved the collection and analysis of evidence from hard drives, CDs and cloud computing services, and resulted in six main suspects being arrested in connection with the case.
Yoram Hacohen will participate in a plenary session at the upcoming 33rd International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners, where he will discuss the skills needed to conduct sophisticated investigations of cybersecurity incidents.