Smoke rises after an Israeli air raid on May 5, 2019 in Gaza City.
Sameh Rahmi | OnlyPhoto | Getty Images
The Israeli forces said they had responded to a cyberattack from a Hamas-controlled facility in Gaza on Sunday with an air strike, a rare mixture of physical conflicts and cyber conflicts on the world stage. The facility was aimed at eliminating the Israeli Curbing civilians, and was thwarted online before the strike, the IDF said, although it did not immediately release further details on the cyberattack.
Hamas militants fired 600 rockets into Israel in Gaza as the country took revenge on hundreds of attacks on military targets.
International organizations and military have long debated how and when countries should use military force to respond to cyber attacks that could harm citizens.
The incident is sure to spark another debate over how cyber attacks and live conflicts should mingle. This is an important distinction as countries, including the United States, become increasingly concerned about the possibility that a cyber-attack on the power grid, water supply or other infrastructure can lead to loss of life and standards as they respond to these threats, either immediately or preemptible.
NATO, experts in cyber warfare will sway
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was the pre-eminent world group that has formulated rules and norms on how cyber conflicts and "kinetic conflicts" or "physical conflicts" live. should be cut.
The role of NATO in the forefront of this debate has its roots in 2007, when a dispute between Russia and Estonia over military statues led to a cyber attack by Russia against the smaller country. The attack devastated communications infrastructure, prevented access to banks and newscasts in Estonia, and was the first example of how a cyberattack could be used to shake the citizens of a country.
As a result of the attacks, NATO had its international cyber headquarters defense center in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. The organization has been following closely what it calls a "hybrid war". For the first time in 201
Further attacks, including 2017 ransomware attacks and attacks on Ukraine's infrastructure, including from Russia, have all contributed to a young but growing knowledge of how to deal with major cyber conflicts in real time.
However, only a few countries were involved in such a hybrid conflict that infused the physical domain. Israeli action is likely to shift the debate on dealing with cyberattacks in times of conflict or war. This is especially true because Israel is already the world leader in cybersecurity and cyber warfare, and its actions and techniques in this case are likely to be emulated by other countries in the future.