Israel’s military chief in his speech this month has pointed towards the fact that a computer sabotage due to some sophisticated cyber-attack is the most evident concern for the country.israels-major-traffic-tunnel-hit-by-a-cyber-attack

This speech of Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz was not just words but was based on the fact that a major artery of the country’s road network in the Haifa city tunnel had been shut down last month due to a sophisticated cyber-attack. The security experts have told Associated Press that the shutdown was for two days and it caused a huge financial damage.

One of the experts on the condition that his name would be kept secret told that it was a Trojan horse attack that led to malfunctioning of a security camera in the tunnels on September 8 last month. The Trojan is basically a malicious program that computer users install on their systems without knowing and it allows the hackers to gain access over their system.

The attack led to a 20 minute pause in the operating of the roadway and it was again stopped for about 8 hours in the next morning which created a massive congestion.

Experts are of the view that this attack came from some anonymous hackers group and was not sophisticated enough to be termed as an attack by a rival country such as Iran.

The expert also said that the attack was already being anticipated by the National Cyber Bureau which is body that directly reports to the country’s president. The bureau refrained from commenting on it and Carmelton which is the company that runs the tunnel has denied any such attack. They are of the view that it was only a glitch in communication.

While it is a fact that Israel is a major target of many hackers group, the tunnel is among the most important landmarks which has faced a cyber-attack. It serves a large thoroughfare which links to the 3rd largest city in the country and is being anticipated to be converted into an emergency shelter for the people.

Gantz in his address has said that the future battles in store for the country might be based on cyber-attacks on websites that render services to the people on a daily basis. He said that the attacks might be to stop the functioning of the traffic lights or to shut down banks.

This type of attacks have already been seen in countries like USA and is a major indication towards the launch of a new regime of cyber-attacks.

Oren David who works as manager at an international security firm has said that such a type of attack is a signal towards a new era and these attacks might now be seen more often.

David said that:

  • “Most of these systems are automated, especially as far as security is concerned. They’re automated and they’re remotely controlled, either over the Internet or otherwise, so they’re vulnerable to cyber-attack. Israel is considered a top target for such attacks.”

The prime minster of Israel has said back in June that Iran and his allies like Hamas and Hezbollah have been targeting the country’s essential systems which includes trains, banks and electric grids.

Prime Minister Benjamin added that, “Every sphere of civilian economic life, let’s not even talk about our security, is a potential or actual cyber-attack target”.

Ben Avi who is Israel’s head of website division has said that during the clash at Ghaza strip, there were many cyber-attacks that were launched against many websites of Israel as they overloaded them with traffic. Sophisticated attacks were also launched to steal passwords and other information.

Despite the constant threat from the hacker’s world, Israel has been able to attain a status of the cyber-security leader in the world and has recently developed cyber security units that are working day and night.

Israel is itself believed to have devised its own cyber-attacks which it has been carrying out against its rival country Iran. The Stuxnet worm attack from Israel has been known to have induced damaged into the nuclear system program of Iran.

Keeping in view the attacks, Israel’s electric company for national supply has launched a training program where it is training its engineers and supervisors to detect any sort of infiltration into their systems.

The electricity corporation of the country has given a statement that about 6000 cyber-attacks are registered by the company’s system every second. A senior executive official of the company has said that we are making every provision to ensure that awe are ready for any cyber-attack. 

They have devised teams of engineers and hackers to counter the threats in an effective manner. The hacker’s team has been given a code name Red team and they sit in a building near the power plant of the company.

Around 25 employees of the company was present at the training course last week and thousands of workers and staff will be trained under this program which will help them in detecting the attacks even when their systems do not detect them.

This electric company is also susceptible to cyber-attacks because of the fact that the country has no power sharing or production agreement with any other country and they are only dependent on this company for their power supply.

Keeping in view this fact, it is essential for the company to remain one step further in anticipating and countering any sophisticated cyber-attack that might be in store for them in the future.


Waqas

Waqas Amir is a Milan-based cybersecurity journalist with a passion for covering latest happenings in cyber security and tech world. In addition to being the founder of this website, Waqas is also into gaming, reading and investigative journalism.