Cyber-Crimes and Computer Crimes in Israel – Statistics and the Real-Life Legislation of the Virtual Crimes
The rise of Internet connectivity of multiple devices, together with the shift towards storing sensitive information digitally, has increased cyber-crimes and hacking significantly. Has the law coped with the technological developments? What are your rights in case of being accused of cyber-crimes? A brief introduction to the crime of the 21st century
The number of cybercrimes and computer crimes has skyrocketed in Israel and the rest of the world during the past several years. This trend is understandable, primarily due to the Pandemic of COVID-19 and the quarantine restrictions imposed by it. Above everything else, it encourages a tremendous leap towards the digitalization of every sector of life.
Cyber-Crimes under Israeli Law
According to the Israeli “Computer Law” of 1995, computer crime is “any change, distortion or injuries of a computer software, access and permission deviation in using a computer, and presenting false output information.” Such crimes are penalized up to 5 years imprisonment. However, computers themselves, their application have changed and complexed greatly since the introduction of the “Computer Law.” So did the cyber-crimes. While the burden of criminal proof lies on the prosecution, in many cases, it becomes harder to collect sufficient digital evidence. Economic crimes have become the most common type of cybercrimes worldwide. They include all sorts of frauds and information manipulation, from the well-known credit card thefts to more massive money laundering cases.
Cyber-Crime Rates in Israel
Every year over 350 cases of economic cybercrimes are opened in Israel. Computer crimes and money laundry cases started to get widely discussed in Israel after the 2020`s scandal with the Israeli bank Hapoalim that admitted money laundering as part of a high-profile FIFA corruption case. Since then, the economic cyber crimes have turned into a sort of “Witch Hunt” in the country. In many cases, the fact that the suspects fail to address a qualified criminal lawyer at the stage of investigation often leads to false or unjust accusations.