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Missile sirens in Israel set off by suspected cyber attack

Missile attack sirens blared in two cities in Israel over the weekend and local reports have speculated that cyber actors based in Iran triggered the false alarms.

user iconReporter
Tue, 21 Jun 2022
Missile sirens in Israel set off by suspected cyber attack
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According to Israel’s cyber security agency, it believes "the false alarms were triggered by a cyber attack", after missile warning systems in Jerusalem and Eilat were triggered on Saturday night and rang for almost an hour.

The Israeli Defence Force attributed the incident to a "malfunction", reassuring civilians that the sirens were false alarms.

The Israel National Cyber Directorate confirmed reports that it suspects the alarms were caused by a cyber attack on the municipal alarm systems, which prompted the Israel Internet Association to urge local authorities to boost their cyber security defences.

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Cyber attacks between Israel and Iran have been intensifying which has resulted in the speculation about the attack's origins being pinned on Israel’s geopolitical rival.

Israeli security provider Check Point recently revealed Iranian hackers targeted high-ranking Israeli officials during a spear-phishing operation, including former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni.

Israel Airport Authority's website was knocked offline by a DDoS attack in April by the Altharea Team, a gang “suspected to be operated by Iran, or Iraqis that support Iran”.

Israel has also struck back with cyber attacks against Iran in retaliation. US officials attributed a cyber attack that had disrupted petrol stations across Iran last year and Stuxnet, the malware that targeted Iranian nuclear facilities, was developed by the US and Israel.

To bolster its cyber security posture, Israel announced plans to create cyber security equivalent of its Iron Dome missile defence system last month, however, proposed regulation would mean telecommunications providers will have to increase cyber security monitoring.

[Related: Cyber criminals leveraging OT security gaps, study finds]

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