Israel’s New ‘Cyber Dome’ Against Iranian Cyberattacks

Israel’s New ‘Cyber Dome’ Against Iranian Cyberattacks

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Israel’s Iron Dome defense system famously defends it from incoming aerial attacks, and now it is getting a “cyber counterpart” to defend against online attacks.

While Israel has fought Hamas in Gaza since October 7th, it has also been facing a significant increase in cyberattacks from Iran and its allies. The Israeli National Cyber Directorate’s head of international cooperation, Aviram Atzaba, said in an interview with AFP that this is a silent, invisible war and that while they are ” trying to hack everything they can,” so far “they have not succeeded in causing any real damage.” He added that they have thwarted around 800 significant attacks since the war began, targeting government organizations, the military, and civil infrastructures.

Atzaba explains that while Israel already has cyber defenses, they mostly consist of local, unconnected efforts, and so for the past two years the directorate has been working to build a centralized, real-time system that works proactively to protect all of Israeli cyberspace.

Cyber expert and researcher Chuck Freilich stated that Iran is “an impressive enemy” in the online wars, and explained that its attacks aim to sabotage and destroy infrastructure, but also to collect data for intelligence and spread false information for propaganda purposes.

Iran has welcomed Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel, and regional tensions have increased to unprecedented levels, particularly after Iran fired hundreds of missiles directly at Israel for the first time in history in retaliation for a deadly Israeli air strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus.

Freilich adds that while Israel is considered a major cyber power, Iran was only likely to improve. He also points to assistance from Russia and China, as well as its much larger population and an emphasis on cyber training for students and soldiers alike, adding that the trend was “concerning for the future”.

Atzaba stated that for the past two years, they have been developing a cyber dome against cyberattacks like the Iron Dome defends against rockets. “With cyber dome, all sources are fed into a large data pool that enables a view of the big picture and to invoke a national response in a comprehensive and coordinated manner.” He further explained that the Israeli system has various scanners that continuously monitor Israeli cyberspace for vulnerabilities and inform the stakeholders of the means to mitigate them.

This information was provided by Techxplore.