Israel to Create an Emergency-Response Team for Cyber-Attacks

Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

Knowledge of computer code is proving to be as important to Israel’s conflict with Hamas as the Iron Dome system intercepting rockets from the Gaza Strip. Close

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Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

Knowledge of computer code is proving to be as important to Israel’s conflict with Hamas as the Iron Dome system intercepting rockets from the Gaza Strip.

As part of Israel's program to deal with rising cyber threats, the government is putting together a task force to help citizens and businesses cope. The country's National Cyber Bureau plans to establish cyber-emergency response teams this year that will specialize in handling different kinds of hacks, said Rami Efrati, the head of the bureau's civilian division.

Israelis will be able to report attacks to the national center, and local companies could tap experts familiar with specialized cyber-attacks affecting their industries, such as finance or energy, Efrati said in an interview yesterday at the Cybertech conference in Tel Aviv. The program, which also helps facilitate the sharing of cyber-threat information, will have elements based on the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center in the U.S., which the Department of Homeland Security designates as a resource for state and local governments.

Hackers are targeting increasingly sophisticated attacks at Web-hosting servers and data centers, according to a report published earlier this month by Bloomberg Industries. South Korea's biggest theft of credit-card holders' personal information prompted dozens of top executives at financial firms to quit last week. In the U.S., Target and Neiman Marcus Group are still dealing with the fallout from card data breaches during the holiday-shopping season.

"Cyber attacks are a way of life, both in Israel and in many other places in the world," Efrati said. Each high-profile incident "brings a new dimension of awareness."

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