Israel Hit by ‘Severe’ Cyberattack – Jay Bennett/
The country’s Electric Authority discovered the virus on Monday and are still taking steps to neutralize it.
Israel’s Electric Authority is currently combating what Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz called a “severe cyberattack.” Steinitz announced the attack on Tuesday at the Cybertech Conference in Tel Aviv, according to The Times of Israel. The Energy Minister said a virus was discovered on Monday and software was developed shortly after to neutralize it, but for now many computer systems are still not functioning properly.
The Israel National Cyber Bureau is assisting with efforts to counteract the virus. Officials warned in July that Israel would be targeted by a significant cyberattack, but the country hasn’t announced whether or not they have identified any suspects. A warning has been issued for all government ministries and security agencies to watch for changes in their computer systems.
The Electric Authority is a department within Israel’s Ministry of Energy that is charged with providing utility services as well as setting regulations for the electricity market. Just last month, the Israeli Defense Forces set up a cyber warfare corps charged with defending the country’s network infrastructure.
Israel has been the target of a number of cyberattacks over the last two years. Anti-Israel members of the hacker group Anonymous gained access to personal emails in 2015 but have thus far failed in their attempt to take down major government websites and disrupt internet services in the country. Other attacks are thought to be the work of hackers affiliated with Hezbollah and the Iranian government.
In response to frequent cyberattacks, Israel has invested heavily in its own cyber capabilities. The country has also become an international hub for cybersecurity research, with the United States and countries from Europe and Asia investing in R&D facilities in Israel. Israel, in conjunction with the United States, has also launched cyberattacks of its own—its widely believed to have worked with the U.S. to launch the Stuxnet virus, which sought to cripple Iran’s nuclear program.
More information about the most recent attack should become available in the coming days.