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Cyber Agencies Respond to Digital Battlefields of the Israel-Hamas War

U.S. agencies have been sharing information and collaborating with Israeli counterparts to track and prevent threats.

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Cyber Agencies Respond to Digital Battlefields of the Israel-Hamas War
Sailors assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney in the Red Sea are supporting defensive operations in the latest war between Israel and Hamas. Photo Credit: U.S. Navy / DVIDS

While war is waged on the physical battlefield, cybersecurity agencies are responding to the conditions on the digital battlefield. The war between Israel and Hamas has extended beyond the physical space, as Israel and its American allies work in tandem to limit and thwart cyberattacks.

American cybersecurity agencies including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), FBI, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) have collaborated with Israeli agencies and shared information in an effort to prevent devastating cyberattacks to Israel and the U.S. during the war.

“Here in the U.S., we cannot and do not discount the possibility that Hamas or other foreign terrorist organizations could exploit the conflict to call on their supporters to conduct attacks on our own soil,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said last week in a phone briefing for reporters.

DHS, FBI and NCTC issued a joint bulletin last week warning law enforcement agencies to stay watchful in case of attack.

CISA Executive Director Brandon Wales said at a Washington Post event last week that the agency is in “very close contact” with its Israeli counterpart and the Israeli National Cyber Directorate.

Wales said that cyber space has not seen any significant attacks, but that it has been peppered with low-level denial-of-service and web defacement attacks. Currently, agencies like the FBI have stated they have more concern for lone wolf attacks from Hamas sympathizers within the U.S.

The U.S. and Israel have a long history of collaboration over security matters, including within cyberspace. As recently as December 2022, U.S. and Israeli cybersecurity forces participated in joint exercises as part of its Cyber Dome VII event.

In August 2023, the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation approved four projects totaling $3.85 million dedicated to protecting industrial control systems, air traffic systems and airports, and maritime shipping from cyber attack.


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