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09:46 AM, November 12, 2019
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Israel Launches Project ‘Hercules’ to Counter Cyber Threats to Aviation

The Israel National Cyber Directorate (INCD) recently launched project ‘Hercules’ to counter cyber threats to aviation such as airports, control towers, airspace control, airlines, and airplane maintenance.

The project, led by Matrix IT Ltd., began in September and will continue for 14 months. The relevant cyber risks will be rated, and recommendations will be given for coping with them in the short and long term, Globes newspaper reported Monday.

The INCD expects "Insights from the project will be applied in other countries and at international aviation agencies, and will later be used to set international standards for cyber protection of airliners and airports," the newspaper quoted an INCD announcement.

The project will be headed by a senior aviation industry figure, with participation from a former combat pilot, a cyber expert with a defense background, and an avionics systems engineer. Israeli and international companies selected by Matrix Defense and approved by the Cyber Directorate are also partners in the project.

The Cyber Directorate emphasized that its handling of the aviation sector included all of its aspects, not merely protection of aircraft. "As in many other spheres, cyber attacks in aviation are currently taking place on websites and databases of airlines in an attempt to obtain customers' data, in additional to financially-motivated ransom-ware attacks," the Cyber Directorate's announcement of the project's launch stated.

The aviation sector is also preparing to address far more serious threats. The main concern is that cyber attacks will try to paralyze airports or sabotage control tower systems.

The Cyber Directorate is also considering the establishment of a "cyber laboratory for aviation" and a "training development plan for holding drills and raising awareness among pilots of how to act in a cyber event, and of detection and analysis of events."

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