The Jerusalem Times is reporting that Israeli and American investigators are examining a possible cyberattack on the Israeli government that could compromise its nuclear programme.
The cyberattack may have involved “hacking and manipulation of the Israeli Ministry of Energy’s website” and potentially the country’s nuclear program.
The investigation, the newspaper reported, is “focused on the possibility that the cyberattack was launched in an attempt to influence the government’s decision to cancel its planned nuclear program in the wake of the US election.”
The Israeli nuclear industry has faced several threats in recent years, including cyberattacks on its computers, and the US and Israel have recently launched joint cyberattacks to tackle such attacks.
According to the report, the Israeli ministry of energy website was not hacked, but an “administrative error” on the part of the company.
The Israeli government is “committed to maintaining its security, and to providing an efficient and effective internet service,” a spokesperson told the Times.
However, the spokesperson added that “the ministry of nuclear energy is aware of the recent cyberattacks and has taken appropriate measures.”
A spokesperson for the US Department of Energy confirmed the incident to The Associated Press.
The spokesperson declined to comment further on the investigation, and referred the AP to the Israeli nuclear ministry, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The website of the American Nuclear Society, meanwhile, was not affected, and officials there were not immediately available to comment.
Israel’s nuclear programme has been under strain since November 2015, when a series of cyberattacks by the US National Security Agency on the country and other foreign governments’ networks caused extensive damage to the country.
In December, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned Israel to “exercise extreme caution” as the country prepares for its nuclear talks with Iran.
“It’s very clear that the threats to our nuclear weapons programs are real and have a serious impact on our national security,” he said.