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U.S., Israel Sign Cybersecurity Intelligence-Sharing Agreement

Israel signed an agreement on Tuesday to join an American initiative that helps countries and major companies share cyber defense and intelligence information automatically.

Representatives from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, who were in Israel for Tel Aviv University’s annual International Cybersecurity Conference, signed the agreement together with Israeli government officials.

“One of the lessons we learned is to go it alone is precarious, working together makes us stronger,” Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas stated at the conference. “The cybersecurity threat is borderless. Information must be shared.”

“We believe in sharing information between companies, sectors and countries because the threat is so global,” Israeli National Cyber Bureau director Eviatar Matania told reporters at the conference. “If we share information, we can prevent it from propagating.” Matania added that Israel was looking to come to such arrangements with other countries as well.

Speaking at an energy conference in Tel Aviv in April, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said that the U.S. could learn from Israel’s “forward-thinking approach” to cyber security, adding that cyber defense cooperation between the two countries was crucial because “a very large fraction of cyber attacks involves the energy sector and that’s a recent experience.” National Security Agency director Adm. Michael Rogers reportedly visited Israel in March to discuss cooperation in cyber defense, particularly with regard to Iranian and Hezbollah infiltration attempts. Rogers, who is also the head of the U.S. Army’s Cyber Command, was the guest of the commander of the IDF’s Intelligence Corps Unit 8200, which is responsible for signals intelligence and cyber warfare. The report about Rogers’ visit came just days after the Department of Justice announced charges against seven Iranians for launching cyber attacks against American banks and a dam near New York City.

[Photo: Haim Zach / GPO ]