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U.S. and Israel finalize cybersecurity cooperation agreement

Updated: Sep 7, 2022

The U.S. Treasury Department said on Thursday that the two countries had reached a final agreement to collaborate in order to defend the banking industry against cyberattacks.

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by the Israeli Ministry of Finance (MoF) comes after the two organizations' collaboration was made public in November 2021. U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo made the announcement on the formation of a bilateral cyber task force while he was in Israel. At the time, Adeyemo stated that the cooperation's goal was to secure financial infrastructure in order to protect the global financial system.

Treasury claims that the MOU strengthens and improves the 2021 deal.

President Joe Biden highlighted the seriousness of the threat posed to the United States by cybersecurity breaches during a four-day trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia in July, where he pledged that the US will work more closely with those two countries to fight cyberattacks.

In accordance with the MOU, the agencies will cooperate to train staff and develop cross-border cybersecurity expertise as well as share information regarding cybersecurity incidents and threats.

In a statement, Adeyemo said, "We are pleased to have the government of Israel as partners in our global effort to stop ransomware. This partnership has already resulted in the sharing of real time cyber threat data to prevent the spread of ransomware and other cyberattacks from impacting the U.S. financial sector. We look forward to expanding this partnership." 

Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli minister of finance, said in a statement that "today we are sdeepening the long-standing partnership between Israel and the U.S. and deploying an iron dome to the financial system to protect against cyber threats. Together we are prepared to maintain the continuity of the supply of essential financial services for the citizens of Israel and to maintain the normal operation of the entire financial system." 

In order to defend the two countries from cyber threats, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Israel National Cyber Directorate came to an agreement in March to collaborate on research and cutting-edge technologies as well as to battle ransomware.


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