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14 Mar, 2022 20:28

Israel hit by ‘largest ever’ cyberattack – media

Websites of government agencies and the prime minister’s office were targeted
Israel hit by ‘largest ever’ cyberattack – media

The websites of Israel’s interior, health, justice, and welfare ministries, as well as the prime minister’s office, were taken offline on Monday in what a defense source claimed was the largest ever cyberattack against Israel. Authorities believe a state actor or large organization was responsible.

Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported the cyber strike, citing a “defense establishment source” who claimed it to be the worst ever to hit the Jewish state. The attack reportedly targeted sites using the ‘gov.il’ domain, which serves all Israeli government websites except defense-related ones.

The government database is one such site, and a potential target for cybercriminals.

Access to some of the affected sites was restored on Monday night, but Israel’s defense establishment and the National Cyber Directorate have declared a state of emergency while websites of strategic importance – such as those related to the country’s water and power infrastructure – can be checked for signs of compromise.

The official cited by Haaretz said that the government believes “a state actor or large organization carried out the attack,” but said that the culprit could not yet be identified.

However, Israeli journalists have already speculated that Iran is to blame. Israel and Iran have for years traded cyberattacks, and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) hacked CCTV cameras and employee databases at the ports of Haifa and Ashdod last month. 

Conflict between Tehran and Tel Aviv also went kinetic in recent days, with Israel killing two IRGC officers in an airstrike in Syria last week, and the IRGC responding with a ballistic missile strike against an alleged Israeli “strategic center” in Erbil, Iraq on Saturday.