Why did multiple Israeli government websites go down at the same time?

Several unconfirmed reports cited that it was possible the websites were under a DDOS attack. However, there was no official confirmation about what was causing the issue from any of the ministries.

By
February 11, 2019 14:51
1 minute read.
Cyber hackers [illustrative]

Cyber hackers [illustrative]. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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A number of Israel's government websites in Hebrew were down for about 45 minutes on Monday afternoon.

The Jerusalem Post
checked several government websites with the gov.il URL, including the Foreign Ministry, Defense Ministry and the Public Security Ministry.

Several unconfirmed reports cited that it was possible the websites were under a DDOS attack, which is a type of cyberattack in which bots are used to flood websites making them either crash or extremely slow to access.

One report suggested that it may just be a high volume of traffic causing the websites to go down.

Spokesmen from the Foreign Ministry and Strategic Affairs Ministry confirmed that there had been a “general problem, which has been solved.”

Websites that were still working, but slowly, included the Education Ministry, Finance Ministry, Transport Ministry and Health Ministry, the Knesset websites.

By 2.30 p.m. on Monday afternoon, the Foreign Affairs Ministry website was slow but working again, as was the Defense Ministry's website. It seemed to be taking some time for the rest of the websites to be restored to full working order.


Late last month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel thwarted "daily" cyberattacks by Iran.

“Iran attacks Israel on a daily basis,” he said at the Cybertech conference in Tel Aviv. “We monitor these attacks, see the attacks and thwart the attacks. In the last 24 hours, Iran has said it will destroy us and target our cities with missiles. They don’t impress us because we know our power on defense and offense.”

A spokeswoman for the Government ICT Authority told the Post that "the browsing issue was caused by an operational failure in one of the network components.

"It was identified and treated within minutes," she said.

Spokesmen from the Foreign Ministry and Strategic Affairs Ministry confirmed that there had been a "general problem, which has been solved."

Yonah Jeremy Bob contributed to this report.

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