Netanyahu cyber warfare 311 .
(photo credit: Amos BenGershom/GPO)
A national cyber defense taskforce will be set up to defend Israel’s vital
infrastructure from Internet-based terror attacks, Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu said on Wednesday.
The announcement was made hours before
Lebanese and Syrian hackers attacked the Facebook page of the Haifa
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“Haifa belongs to Palestine,” the hackers
wrote. “We're coming. The end of the Zionists is near,” the message read,
alongside an image of Syrian President Basher Assad.
Internet Defense Taskforce is being established in accordance with
recommendations by the Higher Committee for Science and Technology, the Prime
Minister’s Office said on Wednesday.
“The main responsibility of the
taskforce will be to expand the state’s ability to defend vital infrastructure
networks against cybernetic terrorist attacks perpetrated by foreign countries
and terrorist elements,” the statement said.
In recent years, online
attacks of infrastructure have become more destructive. The Prime
Mininister's Office said hackers were able to disrupt Brazil's electric grid,
and attack Estonia's banking system.
“Israeli electronic networks are
also under permanent threat,” the Prime Minister’s Office said, citing in 2008
when the Bank of Israel’s website was shut down, and last June following the
Turkish flotilla incident when hackers attacked many Israeli Internet sites,
including that of the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality.
The taskforce will
also encourage the hi-tech sector to work with the government to develop
Internet defenses for domestic use and export.
During a conference held
at the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center’s Institute for Counter-Terrorism in
November 2010, experts said the government’s Internet portals are the most
targeted networks in the world, coming under relentless attacks by cyber-jihadis
and hostile “hacktivisits.”
While the majority of attacks do not
penetrate defenses, a special team works 24-hours-a-day to ensure the attacks
that do succeed are quickly neutralized, the experts said.