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Israel, Boeing to collaborate on civil aviation cyber defense

Updated: Jul 14, 2022

The agreement includes sharing knowledge, promoting understanding of risks, and developing mitigation methodologies

An El Al Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet  landing at Ben Gurion International Airport, near Tel Aviv, Israel . Archive. Photo by REUTERS/Amir Cohen
An El Al Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet landing at Ben Gurion International Airport, near Tel Aviv, Israel. Archive. Photo by REUTERS/Amir Cohen

The Israel National Cyber Directorate (INCD) has signed a deal with US aerospace giant Boeing to collaborate on various national and international levels in order to develop and promote cyber defense solutions for the civil aviation industry.

INCD Director Gaby Portnoy signed the agreement on behalf of Israel, while Boeing VP for Cyber Systems and Boeing Israel president (and former Israeli Air Force commander), Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Ido Nehushtan signed on behalf of the US company.

According to the official announcement by INCD and Boeing, the collaboration agreement includes “sharing knowledge, promoting the understanding of risks, and developing mitigation methodologies, as well as developing solutions to defend civil aviation.”

The agreement is part of Israel’s Civil Aviation Authority’s strategic program to promote cyber defense in this realm, which includes a national steering committee, R&D, collaborations with leading aviation companies, formulating binding standards with international bodies, improving awareness.

“This agreement is the product of a continuous dialogue which has nurtured trust between the parties, something that is critical for cyber aviation partnerships,” said INCD Chief Technology Officer, Tomer Goren.

Goren added that the agreement will “allow for a deeper understanding of cyber dangers to aircrafts, and will contribute to civilian airport security,” and expressed his hope that additional bodies will join this collective effort. “Only through joint international efforts will we be able to ensure cyber security in civil aviation,” he said.

The aviation industry is increasingly becoming a target for cyber attacks, and it is safe to assume that now with travel returning to pre-pandemic rates, this trend will only grow.

In April, the Israel Airport Authority’s website underwent a DDoS cyber attack, which caused it to go offline briefly. The attack was thwarted before any damage was done, according to officials. A pro-Iranian hacker group, which calls itself Al-Tahera and which made the news again just last week, said it was behind the attack.

Last November, the INCD led a first-of-its-kind international exercise in Dubai, which simulated a multinational cyber attack on the aviation industry.

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