Israeli Government Sites Crippled In Massive DDoS Attack 

A number of Israeli government websites went down on Monday in what could be the largest-ever cyberattack carried out against the country:

The Israeli cyber authority confirmed the attack was a DDos (Digital-denial of service) attack that had blocked access to government websites, and that all websites were back online. The websites of the interior, health, justice and welfare ministries had been taken offline, as was that of the Prime Minister’s Office. A defense establishment source claims that this was the largest-ever cyberattack carried out against Israel. They believe that a state actor or large organization is carried out the attack, but cannot yet determine who is behind it. The defense establishment and the National Cyber Directorate have declared a state of emergency in order to study the extent of the damage, while checking strategic Israeli websites and government infrastructure, such as Israel’s electric and water companies, to see whether they were also attacked.

Cyber Israel confirmed that the attack was aimed at a communications provider, which in turn affected the websites in question:

And these sorts of attacks can really hurt as Chris Olson, CEO of The Media Trust confirms:

“Targeting government websites that provide consumer services is a key tactic for disrupting a nation’s economic and social infrastructure. From tracking COVID vaccinations and paying fines, government websites serve as centralized resources for consumers. When these websites go down it instills uncertainty and creates an environment where disinformation can propagate. In addition, as consumers scramble to learn more, they become more susceptible to scams, data theft and inadvertent exposure to ransomware and other harmful programs. Today it was a DDoS, tomorrow it could be defacement or furtive phishing of valuable consumer information. Promoting digital safety for consumers is more than a moral obligation, it is one of the biggest misses in cybersecurity.”

One other thing, Haaretz should correct this detail: It’s not DDos, It’s DDoS which is Distributed Denial of Service. But I’m nit picking here. The fact is that clearly some nation state is really unhappy with the Israeli government to orchestrate something like this. I could start with the obvious suspect which is Russia. But honestly anyone could have done this. Hopefully the Israeli government is able to hunt down the parties that are responsible for this and bring them to justice.

UPDATE: I got additional commentary from Jennifer Tisdale, CEO of GRIMM:

Today’s broad cyber attack is just another Tuesday in Israel, for the most part. Israel’s approach to cybersecurity offers some solid takeaways the U.S. government could and and should embrace. First, Israel has developed cybersecurity public policy that is both robust and nimble. They have prioritized government funding specific to cyber attack mitigation, preparation and response to protect against other governments or private sector incidents. Israel has also embraced an attacker-oriented response strategy and has developed a practice for holding people and organizations accountable with both national and international law enforcement. Though we could debate what an appropriate response should look and feel like, I believe we can all agree that having a cyber response plan and accountability plan to protect U.S. critical infrastructure, government networks and communication systems should be prioritized. 

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