cyber attack
cyber attackiStock

A number of Israeli government websites crashed tonight (Monday), in what officials suspect to have been an attack perpetrated by Iranian hackers.

According to a Haaretz report, a state of emergency was declared within the defense system and the national cyber headquarters was tasked with determining the extent of damage to Israel's security.

Government sites downed during the attack included: the Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Welfare, as well as the Prime Minister's Office. Operation was resumed after over an hour's time.

"In the last few hours, a denial of service attack on a communications provider has been identified. As a result of this attack, access to a number of websites, including government sites, was denied for a short period of time. All sites have now returned to full capacity," read a statement from the national cyber defense system.

A source in the defense establishment called it the largest cyber attack carried out against Israel to date. At the moment, a large organization or enemy state are the likely suspects in the strike. The Cyber ​​Defense Unit is currently assisting in the investigation.

Minister of Communications Yoaz Handel is also conducting a detailed assessment of the situation.

Meanwhile, Iranian state television reported tonight that a cell recruited by Israel had attempted to sabotage centrifuges at the Fordow underground nuclear facility near the city of Qom in the south of the country. The facility is one of the key sites in Iran's uranium enrichment program.

According to the report, members of the cell have been detained by Iran's security services.

On Saturday night, 12 missiles were reportedly launched from Iran towards the American consulate in Erbil in northern Iraq.

There were no casualties or damage to U.S.-owned facilities in the area but a State Department spokesman called it a "scandalous provocation."

The Saudi channel Al-Hadath claimed the attack was launched in retaliation for the killing of two Revolutionary Guards officers in an air strike on Syria widely attributed to Israel.

A report on official Iranian TV alleged that the attempted strike was intended to target "secret Israeli bases" in Iraq.