Israel Government Sites Targeted by Major Cyberattack
According to Israel’s Defense Establishment, It Remains Unclear Who Was Behind What Could Be the Country’s Largest-Ever Cyberattack.
On Monday, a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack took down several Israeli government websites, rendering them unreachable for a brief period of time.
In the past few hours, a DDoS attack against a communications provider was identified. As a result, access to several websites, among them government websites, was denied for a short time. As of now, all of the websites have returned to normal activity.@Israelgov
— Cyber Israel (@Israel_Cyber) March 14, 2022
DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) refers to an online attack in which legitimate users are prevented from accessing their target online location. This is usually done by flooding that particular site with a multitude of illegitimate information requests.
Following reports of “severe interruptions” on numerous networks supplied by Israel’s telecom carriers Bezeq and Cellcom, internet watchdog NetBlocks took action.
⚠️ Confirmed: A significant disruption has been registered on multiple networks supplied by #Israel‘s leading providers Bezeq and Cellcom as the country’s defense authorities and National Cyber Directorate declare a state of emergency 📉 pic.twitter.com/lcPyeLvPor
— NetBlocks (@netblocks) March 14, 2022
Although the INCD has not linked the attacks to a specific threat actor, the Jerusalem Post speculated that the incident could have been carried out by an Iranian-linked hacking gang in retribution for alleged attempted sabotage of Iran’s Fordow nuclear site. The health, interior, and justice ministries, as well as the prime minister’s office, were all down for at least a short time on Monday.
The INCD declared a state of emergency to assess the scope of the damage, as well as to examine critical Israeli websites and government infrastructures, such as Israel’s power and water corporations, to see if they were also targeted.
According to the defense establishment, the attack targeted websites with the.GOV.IL domain, which is used for all government websites save those relating to defense. The government database is another website that uses this domain. Despite this, certain websites are still accessible from a smartphone.
With the continuing Russo-Ukrainian war opening the way for a succession of “tit-for-tat” DDoS operations on both sides, this isn’t the first time DDoS attacks have been launched against government IT infrastructure.
Furthermore, as reported by The Hacker News, a flaw in Mitel’s MiCollab and MiVoice Business Express collaboration platforms was recently exploited to launch sustained distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks lasting up to 14 hours, with a record-breaking amplification ratio of 4.3 billion to 1.