ISRAEL: Water command and control infrastructure came under cyber-attack

Jerusalem, Israel – As is now made public, Israel’s technological infrastructure was subjected to a serious cyber-attack two weeks ago on 24-25 April. It is not clear who was behind the large-scale cyber-attack, but Western media reports mention Iran as the biggest suspect of the attack. Israel and Iran are considered each other’s biggest enemy in the region.

The “attempted cyber breach on water command and control systems” was aimed at Israel’s water infrastructure but caused little damage or disruption of the water supply, Israeli officials said. And the disruption was only limited to water installations in some local councils. Israeli authorities, however, consider the attack to be a major escalation by the Iranians because the attack targeted civilian facilities.

The Times of Israel said that an American report by Fox News claimed it was Iran who attempted to cyber-attack the Israeli water and sewage facilities by using American servers. Russian news agency Sputnik said that after inquiry, and despite the history of cyber-terrorism allegations leveled against Tehran by Israel, the Fox News’ report has not been confirmed by US or other Israeli officials.

The Times of Israel also said that “Israel and Iran have engaged in covert cyber-warfare for over a decade, including reported efforts by the Jewish state and US to remotely sabotage the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program. Israel has also in recent weeks stepped up a bombing campaign on Iran-linked forces in Syria seeking to push out the Islamic Republic, which is already smarting from one of the world’s most severe COVID-19 outbreaks. Experts have recently warned that the coronavirus pandemic has created a perfect storm for cyberattacks, with millions of people working in unfamiliar, less secure circumstances and eager for information about the virus and with new organizational policies being implemented.”

In a related context, Iran has supposedly reduced its forces in Syria and evacuated bases, for the first time since entering Syrian territory. Israeli officials pointed out that Tel Aviv intends to intensify the pressure on Tehran until it leaves Syria completely.