Israel’s PM Establishes National Civilian Cyber-Defense Authority

After major hacking attempt during Gaza war to crash  non-governmental websites, Netanyahu makes historic move to protect civilians – not only the gov’t – from intrusive cyber warfare.

By Tova Dvorin


In a landmark decision Sunday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced the establishment of a National Authority for Cyber Defense.

Cyber security – Reuters

The new authority will be headed by Dr. Eviatar Mattaniah, head of the cyber-defense staff, and will be responsible for the protection of Israeli civilians against cyber attacks.

Netanyahu’s decision takes the already extensive work and thorough preparation to protect Israel’s cyberspace against terror several steps further, drafting leading experts in the field to coordinate and lead the entire Israeli cyber-defense team.

Mattaniah was instructed to establish a team within 60 days, under Cabinet supervision, to begin the National Cyber Authority for a multi-year contract between defense experts and the government.

In his weekly Cabinet meeting Sunday, Netanyahu expressed his appreciation to all the entities involved in the matter, and stressed that this strategic move depends on the successful integration of different fields and abilities.


Cyber-stalker, troll

“I made a decision to develop a national authority to regulate the issue of cyber protection for all of the State of Israel,” Netanyahu announced. “This means not only the increased protection of important institutes and defense agencies, but also of Israeli citizens.”

“This new authority is an ‘Air Force’ against new threats which will not solely rely on existing defense teams,” he continued. “We are in a new world, we are organizing new forces, [and] it great significance for Israel’s defense in the future.”

Cyber-attacks on Israeli websites have become more and more frequent in recent years.

Major terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah, together with Iran, have shown an increasing interest in the field of cyber terror.

The announcement surfaces after the IDF’s cyber defense division was drafted in to mount a defense against a systemic hacker attack – sponsored by the Iranian government – during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza this summer.

The Israel Security Agency (ISA or Shin Bet) also recently revealed it had set up an elite cyber-defense unit to defend against an organized attack on Israeli cyberspace as well.


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