Israeli Hospitals Survive Massive Malware Attack

YERUSHALAYIM -
British Researcher, Kill Switch, Malware, Computers, Worldwide
(Reuters/Kacper Pempel/Illustration)

Dozens of Israeli hospitals were targeted in a malware attack Wednesday night, but the vast majority were protected and were able to fend off the attack, the National Cyber Directorate said on Thursday.

Tens of thousands of computers at hospitals in central and northern Israel, including Assaf Harofeh, Poria and Nahariya, were subject to the attacks. About 50 computers were infected by malware, but system administrators were able to immediately isolate them from the network and protect the rest of the computers.

There was no effect on the operations of hospitals, and there were no data breaches, the Directorate said. The attack was not necessarily connected to this week’s massive worldwide attack of the Petya ransomware attack. The malware was a sophisticated strain that attacks SGX enclaves, which are secure computing environments using Intel systems.

The Petya ransomware attack hit tens of thousands of computers throughout the world — and made an appearance in Israel as well. But cybersecurity experts said that impact in Israel was small, as many businesses here have advanced cyber-security systems that were able to prevent the attack.

According to experts who spoke to Channel Two, the number of Israeli firms that were infected by the ransomware was “minimal,” despite tens of thousands of attempted attacks.