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Israeli hospitals subjected to major cyberattacks

Israeli Paramedics of the Israel's National Emergency Pre-Hospital Medical Organisation at the coronavirus national operations center, perform a coronavirus test exercise on a volunteer on 26 February 2020 in the central Israeli city of Kiryat Ono [JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images]
Paramedics at an Israeli hospital on 26 February 2020 in the central city of Kiryat Ono [JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images]

Nine Israeli hospitals and medical centres were subjected to major cyberattacks on Friday and Saturday, recording a 72 per cent increase of attacks compared to recent weeks, Arab48 reported on Sunday.

According to the National Cybersecurity Directorate in Israel, Kan public broadcaster reported that the Israeli hospitals and medical centres were subjected to hundreds of cyberattacks on Friday and Saturday.

Kan said that only Hedera's Hillel Yaffe Medical Center was affected by what it described as a ransomware attack that paralysed the majority of the hospital's computer systems.

Among the affected systems, Ynet News reported, are the hospital's electric doors, as well as the patient registry system – which severely hampered the medical center's ability to receive and discharge patients.

Ynet News said that the cybersecurity experts said the hospital did not deploy the best possible security options, making it vulnerable to attack.

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On its part, Arab 48 reported Check Point, an Israeli cybersecurity firm, as saying that the Israeli medical sector is subject to about 1,400 cyberattacks every week –twice times more than the global rate of similar attacks.

Israeli cyber officials have asked countries taking part in a meeting about cyberattacks being held in Washington to exchange information about such attacks with Israel, Kan reported.

In recent years, Israeli trade and medical firms, as well as other vital facilities have been subjected to repeated cyberattacks.

Israel accuses Iranian hackers of carrying out some of these attacks, but Ram Levy, owner of Israeli Cybersecurity firm, said that it is not only Iran that carries out such attacks for espionage and harming work systems.

Speaking to Kan, Levy said: "All major world powers are taking part in such attacks. For example, China takes part in such operations in order to reinforce its trade with Israel."

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