A month after Israel’s military chief, Benny Gantz, listed computer sabotage as a top threat, a major link in the country’s national road network was shut down by a cyber attack.
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive emails regarding relevant topic offers from TechTarget and its partners. You can withdraw your consent at any time. Contact TechTarget at 275 Grove Street, Newton, MA.
The attack took down key operations for two days, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage, experts told The Associated Press, according to the Washington Post.
The attack indicates that cyber war is now a reality, the paper said.
Speaking on condition of anonymity because the matter is classified, an expert said a Trojan horse attack targeted the security camera system in the Carmel Tunnels toll road on 8 September 2013.
A Trojan horse is a program in which malicious or harmful code is contained inside apparently harmless programming or data in such a way that it can get control and do its chosen form of damage.
The attack caused an immediate 20-minute shutdown of the road, followed by an eight-hour shutdown the next day, causing traffic congestion.
More on cyber war
- UK losing cyber war
- Government turns to reserves to fight cyber war
- US military Plan X aims to make cyber war easy
- Anonymous threatens to declare cyber war on North Korea
- Banks to test cyber defences
- Infosec 2013: Every business in the cyber war frontline, says Kaspersky
- US to fast-track cyber weapon development
- Security researchers discover powerful cyber espionage weapon 'Flame'
- Israel launches cyber warfare training programme
- Stuxnet –the prototype cyber weapon?
- Cyber weapon Stuxnet hits China
- Howard Schmidt warns private sector of cyber war impact
- Stuxnet worm is prototype for cyber-weapon, say security experts
Investigators believe the attack is the work of unknown, sophisticated hackers, but said the attack was not sophisticated enough to be the work of an enemy nation state.
According to reports, Israel’s National Cyber Bureau declined to comment, while Carmelton, the company that oversees the toll road, blamed a “communication glitch” for the shutdown.
Israel is a frequent target of hackers, but the tunnel is the most high-profile landmark known to have been attacked.
Israel was among the handful of countries targeted by the Flame malware discovered by researchers at security firm Kaspersky Lab in May 2012.
Analysis of Flame, recognised as a powerful cyber weapon, revealed it was designed to carry out cyber espionage.
Researchers found that Flame was capable of stealing valuable information, including – but not limited to – computer display contents, information about targeted systems, stored files and contact data.
In January 2013, Israel launched a three-year programme to train young people for cyber warfare.
Launching the cyber warfare training programme, Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Israel was building a “digital Iron Dome” to protect Israel’s vital systems, with reference to the country’s Iron Dome mobile air defence system.