There is growing certainty in Israel’s defense establishment that the cyber attack against the Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera two weeks ago had a financial motive, according to Israeli media reports.

It is believed that a Chinese group was behind the attack, and that it was testing its abilities, perhaps in preparation for larger attacks against more important targets, Channel 12 reported. The hacker group is well known in the global cyber-security field, having made many attempts to infiltrate various institutions around the world, according to the report.

The incident is being investigated by the cybercrime unit of the Israel Police’s Lahav 433, in coordination with a number of foreign governments and law-enforcement agencies.

According to Channel 12, while the Hillel Yaffe Medical Center is currently operating normally from a medical standpoint, some of its IT systems have not yet been restored to full functionality.

Israel’s defense establishment views the attack, which follows a recent sharp spike in cyber attacks on strategic targets in the country by foreign parties, as a significant event.

While critical infrastructure and security facilities are relatively hard targets, attackers have marked hospitals and academic institutions as weak points, according to the report.

JNS

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