The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is “working in partnership” with Israeli cyber forces to thwart cyberattacks, a top official said on Thursday.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is in "very close contact" with the Israeli National Cyber Directorate after Hamas launched an unprecedented attack on Israel over the weekend, a top official from the nation's cyber defense agency said on Thursday.
CISA Executive Director Brandon Wales said the agency was "working in partnership" with Israeli cyber forces to thwart and mitigate low-level cyberattacks since the Israel-Hamas conflict escalated on Saturday, when airborne Hamas militants descended on southern Israel and massacred hundreds of Israeli civilians.
"We are lucky that Israel has a very sophisticated cybersecurity operation, both in their government and in their private sector," Wales said at an event hosted by the Washington Post. "We have a lot of confidence in their capabilities."
Rob Joyce, the National Security Agency director of cybersecurity, said on Monday that U.S. intelligence had not yet seen major cyber campaigns targeting Israel following the attacks, though several reports have indicated that hacking groups and cybercriminals are increasingly targeting Israel and turning their focus from Russia's invasion of Ukraine to the Israel-Hamas war.
CISA has expanded its partnership and operational collaboration with Ukrainian cyber agencies throughout the Russian invasion, from conducting cybersecurity training and joint services to critical infrastructure security technical exchanges and enhanced information sharing initiatives.
U.S. cyber agencies have worked closely with Israeli cyber operations over the years, from threat intelligence and information sharing initiatives, to policy and strategy coordination. Israel's cyber operations are often heralded as among the most advanced in the world.
While Israel has not seen a major escalation in cyberattacks in recent days, Wales said the Israeli National Cyber Directorate has observed denial of service attacks and web defacements "that are fairly common from less sophisticated actors."
“This is going to be an extremely challenging time for Israel,” Wales said. “We're providing whatever support we can to protect them.”