Trump admin unveils cyber pact with Israel

Trump admin unveils cyber pact with Israel
© Courtesy WhiteHouse.gov

The Trump administration announced a new bilateral working group between the United States and Israel on cybersecurity. 

Tom Bossert, White House homeland security and counterterrorism adviser, disclosed the new partnership to combat cyberattacks during remarks at an annual cybersecurity conference in Tel Aviv.

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“These high-level meetings represent the first step in strengthening bilateral ties on cyber issues following President Trump’s visit to Israel,” Bossert said at Cyber Week 2017, according to Reuters.

“The agility Israel has in developing solutions will innovate cyber defenses that we can test here and bring back to America,” the White House aide continued. “Perfect security may not be achievable but we have within our reach a safer and more secure Internet.”

Bossert said that the working group would begin meeting this week. On the U.S. side, the representatives include officials from the State Department, Department of Homeland Security and FBI.

Later Monday, the Embassy of Israel in the U.S. shared a photograph of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meeting with Bossert and Rob Joyce, the White House cybersecurity coordinator. 

"They discussed creating joint cyber teams to develop [international] cyber policy, protecting crucial infrastructure, research & development and more," the embassy said on social media. 

Bossert said that the meetings this week would focus on a number of issues, including critical infrastructure protection and the cybersecurity workforce.

During his own remarks at the conference, Netanyahu said that Israel is facing dozens of cyberattacks each month.

Trump visited Israel in late May, as part of his first international trip as president. 

In addition to Bossert and Joyce, Chris Painter, the State Department’s coordinator for cyber issues, was also dispatched to participate in the conference in Israel and meet with Israeli government officials.