Suspected Cyberattack Triggers Sirens in Yerushalayim and Eilat

(Sliman Khader/FLASH90)

The air raid sirens that blared across parts of Yerushalayim and in Eilat on Sunday were most likely the result of a cyberattack, the Israel National Cyber Directorate said.

The Cyber Directorate said in a statement that the strongest indicator that the sirens were the result of a hack rather than a malfunction was the fact that the systems that were activated were municipal – not the ones controlled by the IDF’s Home Front Command.

“Local authorities have been instructed to take preventative measures against the threat,” the statement said.

The INCD said that the source of the attack is unclear at this time, adding that it was investigating whether Iranian hackers were behind the alleged attack.

Deputy Economy and Industry Minister Yair Golan touched on the issue in an interview with Army Radio, saying, “There have been many attempts by the Iranians to harm Israel using cyber [measures], and we take it seriously.”

Golan, a retired major general who served as deputy chief of staff, added that the fact that the civilian warning systems were hacked was “very troubling. If there’s a breach, it needs to be taken care of immediately.”

Last week, Israeli cybersecurity giant Check Point uncovered an extensive phishing scheme by Iranian hackers seeking to compromise former high-ranking Israeli officials, including former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, retired Military Intelligence Amos Yadlin, and a former U.S. ambassador to Israel.

In March, a massive cyberattack downed most Israeli government websites but swift action by the National Cyber Directorate managed to fend it off within minutes.

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