As Israelis cranked up their heaters during the current cold snap, the Public Utility Authority was attacked by one of the largest cyber assaults that the country has experienced, Minister of Infrastructure, Energy and Water Yuval Steinitz said on Tuesday.
“Yesterday we identified one of the largest cyber attacks that we have experienced,” Steinitz said at the CyberTech 2016 conference at the Tel Aviv Trade Fair and Convention Center.
Steinitz said that attack was dealt with by his ministry and the National Cyber Bureau and that it was under control.
The incident occurred during two consecutive days of record-breaking winter electricity consumption, with the Israel Electric Corporation reporting a demand of 12,610 megawatts on Tuesday evening as temperatures dipped to below-freezing levels.
“I can tell you that the virus was identified and software was activated to neutralize it,” Steinitz said.
“This is a fresh example of what we need to be prepared to face at any time,” he added.
Hundreds of international delegations were attending the CyberTech 2016 Conference.
The third annual event drew state leaders, representatives of leading multinational and Israeli corporations and startups, investors and entrepreneurs in the field of cyber security.
A US delegation led by Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, a large Japanese representation, a group of Canadian banking executives and a delegation organized by the International Monetary Fund from developing countries were among those expected to attend what is referred to as the largest exhibition of cyber technologies outside the United States.