Israel Building Digital Iron Dome to Confront Iran's Cyber Attacks
Israel Building Digital Iron Dome to Confront Iran's Cyber Attacks - Reuters

Israel is building a "digital Iron Dome" to confront the "increasing" cyber attacks emerging from Iran in recent days, said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu amid the dramatic disclosures about America's Prism spy programme over the past week.

Without divulging more details of the nature of the alleged attacks from Iran, Netanyahu said Israel's "vital national systems" are the targets.

"In the past few months, we have identified a significant increase in the scope of cyber attacks on Israel by Iran. These attacks are carried out directly by Iran and through its proxies, Hamas and Hezbollah," Netanyahu said.

Speaking at the International Cyber Technology Conference hosted by the National Cyber Council at Tel Aviv University, he said: "Despite the non-stop attacks on us, you hear only about a few of them because we thwart most of them."

Suggesting that the attacks were quite serious, Netanyahu said: "Their targets are, of course, major systems and infrastructure, including electrical systems and water systems. But all areas of civilian life, as well as defence systems, are being targeted as well. And this trend will continue as we progress during the digital age."

Iran's close ally in the region and the Lebanon-based Shiite militant group Hezbollah has also been actively carrying out relentless attacks on Israel's computer networks, said Netanyahu.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad-backed Syrian Electronic Army has also claimed hacking Israeli networks in recent months amid the growing tensions in the region.

The Israeli government has already established a separate unit, the National Cyber Directorate, to tackle the hacking attacks against the country.

Iran has also been subjected to severe cyber attacks earlier over its controversial nuclear programme. Although reports strongly speculated that Israel and the US were behind the attacks, both Tel Aviv and Washington denied any hand.