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January 30, 2020 10:38 am

Israel Says It Thwarted Serious Cyber Attack on Power Station

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

A power plant in Israel (illustrative). Photo: Hardscarf via Wikimedia Commons.

Israel foiled a major cyber attack on one of its power stations a few months ago, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said on Wednesday.

“It was a very serious, sophisticated attempt trying to control and paralyze one of our power stations,” Steinitz told the CyberTech conference in Tel Aviv, without elaborating.

Yosi Shneck, head of cyber entrepreneurship and business development at state-owned utility Israel Electric Corp (IEC), told Reuters he was aware of the incident even though it was not against one of his own company’s plants.

IEC provides about 70 percent of Israel’s electricity, with the rest coming from smaller private competitors. The state utility faces an average of 11,000 suspected cyber events each second, according to Chairman Yiftah Ron-Tal, making it one of the most targeted companies in the world.

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Shneck said groups like the Palestinian Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah, as well as “states that don’t like Israel, like Iran,” were believed to be behind most of the attacks.

IEC has signed a cooperation agreement with a Japanese energy entity that will involve cyber defense in preparation for and during this year’s Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The company is also launching a series of products called Sophic aimed a providing an additional layer of cybersecurity for critical infrastructure, Shneck said.

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