Cyberattack Temporarily Shuts Down Israeli Government Websites

Amanda Casanova | Contributor | Tuesday, March 15, 2022
Cyberattack Temporarily Shuts Down Israeli Government Websites

Cyberattack Temporarily Shuts Down Israeli Government Websites

A cyberattack took down Israeli government websites for more than an hour on Monday, officials said.

According to the Times of Israel, Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel said the “broad cyberattack” targeted government websites. Users could not enter sites with extensions for about an hour before the sites slowly returned online.

“Operations have been carried out by communications companies in order to return the service as soon as possible, and the service is gradually returning,” the Communications Ministry said.

“The ministry will continue to monitor [the situation] until full restoration,” it added.

Internet-access advocacy group NetBlocks tweeted that a “significant disruption has been registered on multiple networks supplied by Israel’s leading [internet] providers,” with a graph showing the interruption.

According to the National Cyber Directorate, the Israeli sites were taken down via a denial-of-service attack, which floods websites with junk traffic to render them unreachable. Israeli officials have not explicitly confirmed this.

“This is usually done to send a message and create a lot of buzz. It isn’t necessarily an infiltration or grabbing of information,” said Gil Messing, spokesman for Israel-based Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. It’s unclear who is responsible for the cyberattack, but some have begun blaming Iran.

According to Yahoo, it is also unclear whether or not this is the largest cyberattack against Israel to date, as a defense source told Haaretz. However, the NCF and defense officials reportedly declared a state of emergency and are reviewing the possible damage, including anything that might compromise other key websites and critical infrastructure.

The cyberattack came just a day after Iran fired missiles at the Iraqi city of Erbil in what was likely a warning to the U.S. and allies. The missiles dropped near a new U.S. consulate building, but no Americans were hurt. Kurdish authorities said only one civilian was injured, and no one was killed.

In 2020, Israeli officials accused Iran of attempting to hack Israel’s water system.


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Photo courtesy: Arget/Unsplash

Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and She blogs at The Migraine Runner.

Cyberattack Temporarily Shuts Down Israeli Government Websites