October 11, 2023 | Flash Brief

Washington Provides Cyber Support to Israel

October 11, 2023 | Flash Brief

Washington Provides Cyber Support to Israel

Latest Developments

U.S. officials confirmed on October 10 that Washington is providing cyber support to Israel as Jerusalem battles Hamas terrorists on the ground and criminals in cyberspace. Anne Neuberger, the deputy national security advisor for cyber and emerging technology, said that Washington is providing “anything the Israelis really need” in cyberspace. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) at the Department of Homeland Security not only has offered support and assistance but also is “working with industry and international partners to proactively identify potential cyber threats to Israel,” Eric Goldstein, CISA’s executive assistant director for cybersecurity, told Politico.

Expert Analysis

“Israel is possibly the one country in the world that has cyber capabilities similar to those of the United States. We aren’t going to teach the Israelis anything they don’t already know about the importance of cyber defense and the role that cyberattacks can play in warfare. But when an ally is under attack the way that Israel is, it is critical that the United States provide supplemental capacity, as needed. The two countries are well aware of each other’s capabilities through persistent U.S.-Israel military cyber exercises and other collaboration. The United States is well-positioned to surge cyber support to Jerusalem.” RADM (Ret.) Mark Montgomery, Senior Director of FDD’s Center on Cyber and Technology Innovation and FDD Senior Fellow

“Over the past year, Israel has increased cyber cooperation with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco, creating a cyber component to the Abraham Accords. As a result, Israel has helped these countries strengthen their cyber defenses and repel attacks. In this moment, these countries should reciprocate and express their support as Israel battles disruptive cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns.” — Annie Fixler, Director of FDD’s Center on Cyber and Technology Innovation

Hacktivists Bombard Israel

In the wake of Hamas’ rampage, which President Joe Biden called “pure, unadulterated evil,” pro-Palestinian, pro-Russian, and other unaffiliated cybercriminal groups launched a barrage of distributed denial of service attacks against Israeli companies, infrastructure, media outlets, and government agencies. The hacktivists who launch these attacks tend to overstate their operational effects, but the disruption they cause “adds to the psychological impact of an armed conflict,” Axios Codebook explains.

Israel’s Adversaries Increase Their Cyber Capabilities

Microsoft’s annual Digital Defense Report released last week warned that Iranian cyber actors have “increase[d] the complexity of their attacks.” Tehran uses “increasingly sophisticated tradecraft,” is able to exploit newly released vulnerabilities much more quickly, and creates custom tools to evade detection by network defenders. Pairing their cyberattacks with disinformation campaigns, Iran influence operations are aimed at “sow[ing] panic among Israeli citizens.” Microsoft also warned that Gaza-based hackers are targeting Israeli energy, defense, and telecommunications companies, demonstrating “new techniques to evade detection.”

U.S. Rushes Weapons to Israel — With More to Come,” FDD Flash Brief

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

UAE Says Israel Helped Repel Cyberattack,” FDD Flash Brief

Cooperation Between Israel and Its Neighbors Can Defeat Shared Cyber Threats,” by Annie Fixler and Cole Knie


Iran Israel Israel at War Palestinian Politics Russia