Israel PM says sharp rise in cyber attacks from Iran

AFP , Sunday 9 Jun 2013

Israel has come under repeated cyber attack in recent years and has set up dedicated government unit to combat this, says Netanyahu

Israel has been the target of a growing number of cyber attacks from Iran and its militant allies Hizbullah and Hamas, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday.

"In recent months, we have identified a significant rise in the scope of cyber attacks by Iran, which are carried out directly by Iran and its proxies Hizbullah and Hamas," he told a cyber security conference at Tel Aviv University.

"The targets are essential systems," he said without elaborating, in remarks communicated by his office.

"We are building the capability to deal with the attacks and we are holding back most of them while aspiring to build a 'digital Iron Dome'," he said, referring Israel's new missile defence system.

A dedicated government unit has been established to combat cyber attacks, he added.

In April, Shin Bet, the Israeli domestic security agency, reported what it said was a "mass assault" by hacker groups, although it caused only negligible damage.

In November, Israel said it was hit by an "unprecedented" cyber warfare campaign as it waged an eight-day military operation against "Gaza militants".

At the time, the activist group Anonymous claimed it had downed or erased the databases of nearly 700 Israeli sites in protest against the bombing offensive.

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