Palestine to strengthen network security

Palestine seeks international help to tackle cybercrime after network attack
Mashhour Abudaka said that Palestine was seeking international assistance to increase its internet security.
Mashhour Abudaka said that Palestine was seeking international assistance to increase its internet security.

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Palestine’s telecoms ministry, the MTIT, is looking to bolster the country's internet security after its IP network was hit by a cyber attack at the start of the month.

Palestine’s internet suffered an outage on November 1, just one day after UNESCO extended full membership to Palestine, despite objections from countries including Israel and the US.

“It was around 7am, we were subjected to a sustained attack from hundreds of sources in several countries,” said Dr Mashhour Abudaka, head of the MTIT. “90-95% of the Palestinian internet was disrupted.”

Abudaka added that it was difficult to tell where the attack came from because many of the IP addresses that appeared to be involved could be false.

He said that the government was assembling a team of security experts to learn from what happened and “fortify our systems”.

“We have to build our own security and we are looking for international help in this. We informed international organisations like the ITU.

“We sent our engineers to seek international help and cooperation to try to find the culprit and make sure that an attack does not cripple our network again,” Abudaka added. “It requires international co-operation to really catch the culprit.”

While the MTIT does not yet have evidence of where the attack came from, Abudaka said that it was “obvious where people would point their finger” given that the attack came just a day after UNESCO’s vote to admit Palestine as a member.

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