Israel blocks power station cyberattack


Israel foiled a major cyberattack on a power station, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said.

“It was a serious, sophisticated attempt to control and paralyse 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% of Israel’s electricity, with the rest coming from private competitors. The state utility faces 11 000 suspected cyber events each second, according to Chairman Yiftah Ron-Tal, making it one of the most targeted companies in the world.

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

IEC signed a co-operation agreement with a Japanese energy entity that will involve cyber defence in preparation for and during this year’s Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.

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