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Israeli govt sites crash in cyberattack

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Jerusalem: A number of Israeli government websites went down in an apparent cyberattack as the country’s cyber authority confirmed it was a DDos attack that had blocked access to government websites, and that all websites were back online.

According to Haaretz, the websites of the interior, health, justice and welfare ministries had been taken offline, as was that of the Prime Minister’s Office.

Earlier on Monday, a senior defence official confirmed to Haaretz that a massive cyberattack was carried out on Monday evening against Israeli government websites, and cyber security industry sources said that the operation was a wide-scale distributed denial of service (DDos) attack.

A defence establishment source claims that this was the largest-ever cyber attack carried out against Israel. They believe that a state actor or large organization carried out the attack, but cannot yet determine who is behind it, the report said.

The defence establishment and the National Cyber Directorate have 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 see whether they were also attacked.

The defence establishment claims that the attack hit websites using the .GOV.IL domain, which is used for all government websites save for defence-related ones. Another website that uses this domain is the government database. Despite this, some of the websites can still be accessed via smartphone.

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