Israel’s Health Ministry reported Nov. 8 during an urgent Knesset hearing that the Hillel Yaffe Medical Center had still not returned to fully normal operations some four weeks after undergoing a massive cyberattack. “We are in a third world war on cyber,” Reuven Eliyahu, director of information security and cyber at the Health Ministry, told lawmakers at the hearing convened to discuss growing cyberattacks on Israeli health-care institutions. Israel, he added, blocks hundreds of such attacks every month.
The Oct. 13 attack on Hillel Yaffe, a major hospital in the town of Hadera serving the north-central part of the country, was the most sophisticated and damaging of them all, bringing down and locking all the facility’s computer systems, both administrative and medical. The hospital responded with preventive measures, shutting off all its computerized digital systems, ranging from medical imaging equipment to doors and parking garages.