Photo Credit: courtesy, United Hatzalah
United Hatzalah Dispatch and Command Center

Over the past two days, United Hatzalah of Israel has been hit with tens of thousands of cyberattacks as part of the larger hacker attack against Israeli institutions known as OpIsrael.

The attacks, which have put a major focus on attacking government sites, and websites of health and educational institutions, have targeted the national EMS organization as well.


“We received notification from the Israel National Cyber Directorate that we were one of the organizations that would likely come under attack,” explained United Hatzalah Spokesperson Raphael Poch.

“Over the past two days, we have seen tens of thousands of attempts from phishing scams to attempted direct logins which tried to gain control of management interfaces for the website (CMS).

“There have also been attempts to gain access to identification data and attempts to find or exploit weaknesses on our web pages in order to take down our main sites via SQL injections.

“Thankfully our cyber team has been able to stop all of the attempts thus far.”

One of the recommendations the organization received to prevent further attacks was to limit access to its website via Geolocation technology and to only allow people to visit or access the site from countries where the cyber threat is deemed to be less. This includes countries from the European Union and North America until ‘OpIsrael’ ends.

“Limiting access to our website to countries that are less likely to have hackers who carry out cyber attacks against Israel, is just one of the tactics that we will be using to safeguard our site and the information contained therein,” Poch explained.

“One of our websites has been hacked in the past and as a result, we have a very firm policy regarding cyber safety throughout the year. Our entire staff is briefed on this and has to undergo specialized training regularly to learn how to recognize the most common types of cyber and phishing attacks.

“Even though we are entering the holiday of Pesach and in the month of Ramadan, times when many of our team are away or on vacation, we are maintaining vigilance against these attacks and have teams safeguarding our sites and information at all times.”


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.