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Fearing “huge attack” from Palestinian hacktivists, Israel bans international data from government sites

Israel has banned all international data from its government sites making it clear that it’s expecting a significant cyber attack.

Related: The reality of cyber-war hits home: Israeli road system taken down by Trojan

The measures are reportedly being put into place due to intelligence on a “huge attack” being prepared by hactivists enlisted by pro-Palestinian groups, according to Israeli news site Walla.

It is making the extreme decision to block traffic as it wants to limit the scope that activists have when attempting to knock out Israel’s official sites. Government workers are also being warned to stay vigilant when it comes to emails sent from beyond Israel’s borders.

The restrictions, which will be in place by the weekend, involve applying filters in order to allow all Israeli traffic to reach government sites whereas traffic from other territories is prevented from getting through the net.

It throws a significant spanner in the works when it comes to systems that accept payment for government services made by persons outside the country, as these will automatically be refused.

The government is also, according to Reuters, working on its official websites to make them harder to attack with security teams bolstering the infrastructure that is already in place.

Israel has been engaged in a constant battle with Palestinian hackers for some time and there have been a number of high profile instances in recent months that have now forced it to take action.

Just months ago security firm Seculert stated that activists have managed to break into the Israeli government sites by using a booby-trapped email that reportedly let them control some 15 computers that are used to manage Israel’s armed forces.

Related: Cisco’s fibre network for Israel could let in hackers, warns security chief

This was preceded by a Trojan virus taking down a significant road system in the city of Haifa and it led the Israeli Defence Forces chief to name computer sabotage as one of the primary issues facing the country’s forces.