Netanyahu: Israel unharmed by cyber attack but 'everything could change'

Opening Sunday's weekly cabinet meeting, PM Netanyahu stressed the importance of investing "further resources in order to protect the State of Israel."

By JPOST.COM STAFF, REUTERS
May 14, 2017 12:51
1 minute read.
IDF Cyber Security

IDF cyber defense war room . (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM,REUTERS)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at Sunday's weekly cabinet meeting, addressed the global cyber attack that has affected nearly 100 countries across the world. Netanyahu stated that Israeli "critical infrastructure" remained entirely unharmed but warned that "everything could change".

The prime minister highlighted recent Israeli efforts to combat the "new threat" of cyber attacks, including the establishment of Israel's National Cyber Security Authority, and stressed the importance of investing "further resources in order to protect the State of Israel" from this new form of attack.

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In order to ensure Israel’s preparedness against the ongoing threat, National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz declared an increased state of cyber alert for the country’s energy and water infrastructure on Saturday afternoon.

Throughout the day Saturday, the Energy Ministry and the Israel Electric Corporation took preventative measures to protect and increase the readiness of the country’s infrastructure, in accordance with the pattern of attacks currently taking place around the world.

These activities were coordinated by the Energy Ministry’s cyber center, which was established a year ago in order to protect Israel’s energy networks from such types of attacks, the ministry said. The National Cyber Security Authority in the Prime Minister’s Office warned on Saturday night that over the past day, the WannaCry ransomware has been spreading to computers around the world through system loopholes.

However, it is possible to ward off these attacks by “immunizing” both organizational and private computers, a statement from the authority stressed. “The National Cyber Security Authority maintains constant contact with its global counterparts and security companies in Israel and around the world, in order to receive full information about the attack,” the statement said.

Capitalizing on spying tools believed to have been developed by the US National Security Agency, the cyber assault launched on Friday has infected tens of thousands of computers and systems. The most disruptive attacks were reported in Britain, where hospitals and clinics were forced to turn away patients after losing access to computers on Friday.

Finance ministers and central bank governors of seven leading world economies meeting for a G7 conference in Italy on Saturday were to pledge stronger cooperation against cyber crime, a draft communique showed.


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