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Israel securities watchdog closes off website to stop potential hackers amid Hamas war | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

The Israel Securities Authority has blocked anyone outside the country from accessing its website in a bid to stop potential hackers as war with Hamas continues.

Since conflict broke out in the region on 7 October, the ISA’s website has not loaded when viewed from the UK.

ISA director of international affairs Offir Eyal told Financial News by email that “it has not been damaged in any way, and it’s live and kicking.”

“The reason that it’s not accessible at the moment from outside Israel is our deliberate internal decision to minimise unnecessary risks because we assume some hostile entities will try to attack governmental websites,” he said.

READ Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley tell staff in Israel to work from home amid war with Hamas

The ISA has a number of information-sharing deals with international regulators including the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority.

“I maintain continuous communication with them, reflecting both the factual circumstances of the horrible terror attack on Israel and the resilience of our financial market,” Eyal said. “All of Israel’s financial regulators — the ISA, the Central Bank of Israel, and the Capital Market Authority — along with other relevant governmental authorities, are operating at full capacity, fulfilling their duties, and working in close collaboration to ensure the safety and stability of our financial market.”

The ISA has still not had to introduce a trading halt, despite increased volatility on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange during a period of uncertainty for investors, Eyal said.

At the time of writing, the website of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange was accessible from overseas. It carried a message over the Israeli flag: “We stand together. We’ll win together.”

“I’m confident that with Israel’s strong macroeconomic fundamentals, effective regulation, and a culture of resilience and innovation, our economy will overcome this murderous terror attack and the war forced upon us,” Eyal said.

READ ESG funds worth billions poised to rise on defence stock rally amid Hamas-Israel conflict

The Israel-Hamas war continues to rock global finance, with firms facing tough decisions as to how to approach the conflict. Banks have told staff to work from home and suspended business travel in the region.

On 17 October, the New York Times reported that elite US law firm Davis Polk had revoked job offers from students looking to join the business that had led anti-Israeli groups.

Davis Polk pointed to letters from the students at Harvard and Columbia condemning the state, but at the time of writing was considering reversing the decision after complaints from the students, who claim they did not authorise the statements.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Justin Cash


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