Netanyahu Confirms: U.S. Is Working With Israel on Cyber Defense, Iranian Attacks Increasing

Cyber attacks are being carried out by Hezbollah and Hamas, as well as by the Tehran regime, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a workshop at Tel Aviv University.

Gili Cohen
Gili Cohen
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Gili Cohen
Gili Cohen

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed Sunday that Israel is cooperating with the United States on cyber defense, and also said that attacks by Iran are on the rise.

Speaking at a workshop at Tel Aviv University, the prime minister said that "in the past few months we have detected a significant increase in the scope of cyber attacks against Israel by Iran."

These attacks, he said, are being carried out by the regime in Tehran, as well as by Hezbollah and Hamas.

Netanyahu said the cyber attackers have gone after sites vital for "our nationalism, but not just those."

"Aside from electricity, banks, trains and water, every area in civilian economic life – aside from security – is a potential and actual target for cyber attack," Netanyahu said. "And this of course will continue to increase as we move forward in the digital age," the prime minister said.

"However constant the attacks are against us, you only hear about a small number of them, because we manage to block most of them," he added.

Netanyahu noted more than once that international cooperation was crucial to the success of Israel's cyber defense program, adding that the United States was among Israel's partners.

"Cyber warfare is an international problem," he said. "An isolated international response will not do the work. To a certain extent this is similar to the war on terror. Countries work against terrorism and they must cooperate in order to yield better results."

"What we do and what countries that are friendly with us do is, to a certain extent, feel around in the dark," he said. "I speak with almost every leader who comes here about this issue, and look for them to cooperate with us."

The prime minister said he spoke with U.S. President Barack Obama about cyber defense during the president's visit to Israel in March. They discussed "how it is possible to solve it in the international framework and also with cooperation between us," said Netanyahu.

Barack Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu on the tarmac at Ben Gurion International Airport. Credit: GPO

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