Cyberattack shuts down major Israeli roadway

Transportation // Haifa, Israel

A key thoroughfare in the northern city of Haifa was out of commission because of a network intrusion during September 2013. The attack halted operations for two consecutive days.

The Carmel Tunnels toll road is the most high-profile landmark known to have been attacked in Israel. It is a major roadway for Israel's third-largest city, and the city is looking to turn the tunnel into a public shelter in case of emergency.

One expert, speaking to the AP on condition of anonymity because the breach was a classified matter, said a Trojan horse targeted the tunnel’s security camera system on Sept. 8. A Trojan horse is a malicious computer program unwittingly installed by victims that allows hackers to completely overtake their systems.

The expert said investigators believe the attack was the work of unknown, sophisticated hackers, similar to the Anonymous hacktivist group that led attacks on Israeli websites in April 2013. But it was not sophisticated enough to be the work of a nation state like Iran.

Carmelton, the company that oversees the toll road, denied being hacked, blaming a "communication glitch" for the mishap.

Oren David, a manager at international security firm RSA's anti-fraud unit, said that although he didn't have information about the tunnel incident, this kind of attack "is the hallmark of a new era."

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