JERUSALEM – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu launched a National Authority for Cyber Defense on Sunday to oversee the protection of both military and civilian systems.
The announcement comes after Netanyahu accused regional foe Iran of launching repeated cyber attacks on Israel, particularly during its 50-day conflict with Hamas in July and August.
Netanyahu told ministers at the weekly cabinet meeting that the new body would be responsible not only for “protecting key facilities and organizations linked to defense but would also be tasked with defending Israeli civilians” against cyber attacks.
Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said Israel had been the “target of electronic attack by an enemy state, by terrorist groups and by hackers targeting military and economic sites, but these attacks have no caused serious damage.”
Israel’s cyber industry has grown rapidly in recent years, with around half of the 200 firms and 20 research and development centers operated by multinationals set up since 2010.