Syrian Web activists loyal to the regime of President Bashar Assad launched a failed cyber attack on Haifa’s water supply system, a senior scientist and Web expert revealed on Saturday.

Prof. Yitzhak Ben-Yisrael, chairman of the National Council for Research and Development, said that members of the Syrian Electronic Army tried to damage computers controlling the water system this month, in response to air strikes on targets in Damascus, attributed by foreign sources to Israel.

Ben-Yisrael established the National Cyber Bureau within the Prime Minister’s Office, and was speaking at an event in Beersheba on Saturday.

He said that every minute, hundreds of online attacks occur on critical national infrastructure networks, such as electricity, the train system and the stock market.

The professor cited the Kaspersky Web security company as saying that every day sees the introduction of 200,000 new computer viruses.

Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav crititized what he said was a lack of communications between the defense community and his municipality, after finding out about the cyber attack from media reports.

He told Israel Radio that he had not been aware of the attempted attack on the northern city’s water supply.

Yahav added that he was only told about the Israel Air Force’s downing of its own drone off the coast of Haifa, which occurred earlier this month following a technical fault, eight hours after the incident.

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