Israel says government sites targeted by cyberattack

Israel’s defence establishment says it is not immediately clear who was behind what may be the largest ever cyberattack on the country.

Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett speaks during the Cyber Week event at the Tel Aviv university
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett speaks during a Cyber Week event at Tel Aviv University in July 2021 [File: Gideon Markowicz/AFP]

Israel says its government websites were hit by a cyberattack but services have since been restored.

The websites of the ministry of the interior, the ministry of defence and others were affected on Monday.

“In the last few hours, a denial of service [DDoS] attack has been identified on a communications provider which, as a result, has for a short time prevented access to a number of sites, including government sites,” Israel’s National Cyber Directorate said on Twitter.

“As of this hour all the sites are back for activity,” it added.

In DDoS, attackers overwhelm their victims’ servers with a flood of data requests to paralyse them.

The government-funded directorate that oversees cyber-defences in a report published last year said it had witnessed “a dramatic increase” in the scale and quality of cyberattacks worldwide and in Israel.

The Israeli daily Haaretz said a source in the country’s defence establishment believed it was the largest ever cyberattack launched against the country.

Israel’s ministry of communications said it conducted an “assessment of the situation with the emergency services … following a widespread cyberattack on government websites”.

It was not immediately clear who carried out the hack. Previous hacks on Israeli websites have been attributed to attackers linked to Iran.

Iran and Israel have been locked in a shadow war that includes cyberattacks as well as the targeting of physical sites.

Source: News Agencies