Russia and Israel cooperate to fight cyber-terrorism

News by Eugene Gerden

Russia and Israel have reached an agreement on the design of a package of measures aimed at more actively fighting cyber-terrorism and reducing cyber-threats.

The agreement involves a range of measures, several of which are focused particularly on the fight against the growing threat of Daesh (ISIS).

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak told how cyber-terrorists are currently using the most sophisticated and advanced hacking tools and techniques, which enable them to carry out attacks on both business and state structures. He added that very often the level of technical capability of cyber-terrorists is now significantly more advanced than that of many IT security companies and state bodies.

However, Barak added that the fight against cyber-threats has been complicated by the recent scandals associated with cyber-espionage and surveillance by the National Security Agency revealed by Snowden, which has generated mutual distrust between business and governments. And this distrust is being exploited by cyber-terrorists to help carry out their attacks.

Ilya Sachkov, CEO of Group-IB, one of Russia's leading IT security companies, told that the number of cyber-attacks by ISIS on Russian and Israeli web-resources has significantly increased in recent months. There have been more than 1,000 such attacks in Russia since the beginning of the current year. The majority of them are accounted for by attacks on the web-resources of strategic industrial enterprises as well as websites of Russia's leading state corporations and state bodies.

In addition to the fight with ISIS, both Russia and Israel plan to significantly strengthen IT security cooperation in the banking sector.

Despite all the measures taken by the Russian government in recent years, Russian banks remain subject to more cyber-attacks than elsewhere. For example, last week at least 35 leading Russian banks suffered as a result of a massive cyber-attack, which resulted in losses of about RUB 5 billion (£56 million).

Russia now plans to use Israel's national banking cyber-protection experience  and technologies to minimise further attacks.

While Russia and Israel may be considered to have very different approaches to democracy, free speech and the rights of individual citizens, both are concerned about anti-state activity by sections of their populations.  As a result, both Russia and Israel are planning to establish stricter control over use of the Internet, and the exchange of data which has the potential for dual use, ie can potentially be used to harm the interests of the state.

In addition, the governments of both countries plan to significantly expand the IT security powers of their law-enforcement agencies including introducing provisions for pre-trial blocking of suspicious web-resources and the arrest of potential cyber-terrorists.

Separately, the US and Israel have also agreed this week to increase their cyber-cooperation, as reported by

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