June 30, 2023 | Flash Brief

UAE Says Israel Helped Repel Cyberattack

June 30, 2023 | Flash Brief

UAE Says Israel Helped Repel Cyberattack

Latest Developments

The cyber security chief of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Mohamed Al-Kuwaiti, said this week that Israel helped the country repel a cyberattack. “Thank God for the Abraham Accords,” Al-Kuwaiti said at the Cyber Week conference in Tel Aviv. He added: “Cybersecurity is an important aspect for us all. We in the UAE, for example, are going through a great digital transformation. A transformation across all sectors: aviation, education, healthcare, oil and gas, transportation. And, in fact, we need to do a safe and secure transformation.”

Israel also said this week that it partnered with the UAE to develop a platform to combat ransomware hackers. A collaboration between Microsoft Israel, the Israeli National Cyber Directorate, and the UAE Cyber Council, the initiative seeks to share cyber threat intelligence among multiple countries in order to combat common threats. “We, Israel, are being targeted in the field of cybersecurity by Iran every day,” said Michael Herzog, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, in May. “I assume, our neighbors as well. So we have to work together. There is no other way. Together with the United States.”

Expert Analysis

“One of the overlooked benefits of normalization with Israel is in the realm of cyber. Israel is a superpower in this space. The value it can provide to partner countries is therefore immense. One can only imagine that Saudi Arabia and other fence-sitters have taken note of this week’s news as they weigh their own decisions about normalization.” — Jonathan Schanzer, FDD Senior Vice President for Research

“Facing similar threats in cyberspace, particularly from Iran, Israel and its neighbors are well positioned to work together and alongside the United States to assess and improve cyber resilience. The February expansion of the Abraham Accords to include cybersecurity collaboration is already yielding benefits for global cybersecurity, as greater information sharing is key to thwarting criminal and nation-state back cyber threats.” Annie Fixler, FDD Research Fellow and Director of FDD’s Center on Cyber and Technology Innovation

“The UAE, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia know full well that Israel is their most reliable security partner in the region. For the UAE, moments like these should prompt a re-evaluation of its diplomatic strategy at the UN Security Council, where the Emirates have repeatedly castigated Israel. And in Riyadh, this should be a reminder of why the kingdom needs to expedite its integration with Jerusalem.” — Richard Goldberg, FDD Senior Advisor

U.S.-Israel Cyber Exercise Is a Successful Model to Build Upon,” by RADM (Ret.) Mark Montgomery and Michael Sugden

Washington and Jerusalem Enhance Cooperation to Counter Ransomware,” by Annie Fixler and Enia Krivine

Iranian-backed attacks on Albania highlights need for Cyber Capacity Building,” by RADM (Ret.) Mark Montgomery

Money and Partnerships Matter in Cybersecurity,” by RADM (Ret.) Mark Montgomery and Jiwon Ma


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