Israel fought off cyberattacks during Zelensky's speech - Knesset

Attempts to disrupt Zelensky's address to the Knesset were foiled by the Knesset's cyber unit and the National Cyber Directorate.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses Israeli Knesset, public, in this image from Tel Aviv's Habima Square, March 20, 2022. (photo credit: NOAM MOSKOVITZ/KNESSET)
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses Israeli Knesset, public, in this image from Tel Aviv's Habima Square, March 20, 2022.
(photo credit: NOAM MOSKOVITZ/KNESSET)

The Knesset's cyber unit and the National Cyber Directorate fought off a number of cyberattacks aimed at intercepting the live-streamed speech of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, the Knesset said on Sunday evening.

The attempts to attack the Knesset's communications infrastructure and disrupt Zelensky's address, which was viewed by many Israelis at home and on the streets, were all foiled by the cyber unit, the Knesset's Spokesperson stressed. 

Israel's government and other Israeli officials have recently been the targets of several Iranian-linked cyberattacks and hacks into personal phones and computers.

Earlier in March, Israeli government websites were hit by a massive cyberattack, a reported retaliation to the alleged attempted sabotage of the Fordow nuclear enrichment site in Iran by a Mossad special ops team.

Last week, photos and personal documents disclosing information on Mossad director David Barnea and his family were leaked in a Telegram channel called affiliated with Iran. According to former Mossad chief Danny Yatom, the hack will not harm Barnea because it was "old and mostly irrelevant data," a claim backed up by an initial statement by the Prime Minister's Office on the incident.

Illustrative photo of a cyberattack.  (credit: Wikimedia Commons)Illustrative photo of a cyberattack. (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

In a speech to 129 Israeli ministers and MKs, Zelensky used the platform to complain about Israel not doing enough to help his country since the invasion of Russia.

Zelensky begged Israel to send its Iron Dome missile-defense system to protect Ukrainian civilians from Russian airstrikes, praising it as the best missile-defense system in the world, before for Israel to impose sanctions on Russian businesses.