Tel Aviv: Several Israeli government websites crashed, including those for the Prime Minister’s Office, ministries of health, interior, justice and welfare in what has been described as the largest-ever cyberattack carried out against Israel, Haaretz reported on Tuesday.
The country’s National Cyber Directorate said in a statement that all of these websites are now back online. The Israeli cyber authority said the attack was a DDos (Digital-denial of service) attack which apparently blocked access to government website and the sites were victims of a denial of service attack that flooded them with traffic.
A senior defense official confirmed to Haaretz that the massive cyberattack was carried out on Monday evening, adding that it is believed that a state actor or large organization was responsible for carrying out the attack.
The defense establishment and the National Cyber Directorate have now declared a state of emergency in order to study the extent of the damage, while checking strategic Israeli websites and government infrastructure, such as Israel’s electric and water companies, to ascertain if they also came under attack.
The defense establishment also said that the attack hit websites using the .GOV.IL domain, which is used for all government websites save for defense-related ones. Another website that uses this domain is the government database.
Despite this, some of the websites can still be accessed via smartphone. Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel convened a meeting with officials at the Communications Ministry in the wake of the attack and telecommunications companies have been working to get the downed websites back online; service is being restored gradually.