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Israeli government spends millions to hack itself

State Comptroller’s office hiring hackers to test security of government databases that hold citizens’ personal information

A computer programmer hacking a secure system. (releon8211 via iStock)
A computer programmer hacking a secure system. (releon8211 via iStock)

Israel’s State Comptroller’s office has decided to check the government’s information security systems in an unconventional way, hiring dozens of hackers to try and breach the country’s data banks, Channel 13 reported Monday.

According to the report, Comptroller Matanyahu Englman has authorized the effort in a bid to determine whether the personal information of Israeli citizens is secure.

The project will cost millions of shekels, Channel 13 reported, noting that the hackers will all have to be approved by the Shin Bet security service.

It is unclear why the State Comptroller’s Office needs to take on this task, given that Israel has a dedicated National Cyber Directorate to protect Israel’s cyberspace, along with its intelligence services and the IDF.

The report comes at a time where Israel has faced several apparent attempts by Iran to hack into civilian infrastructure, including its water supply.

Fears of further Iranian efforts to target Israel have been heightened by the recent killing of Iran’s nuclear chief, which Tehran has blamed on Israel.

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