Israeli concerns over potential Iranian cyber-attacks targeting infrastructure

TEL AVIV / TEHRAN — Israel has raised its military readiness, including among its cyber warfare elements, due to increasing tensions with Iran.

On Thursday, the Israeli website Ynet reported that Israel is readying for a potential large-scale Iranian cyber-attack, including potential efforts to poison drinking water by increasing the amounts of chlorine allocated to water purification.

Ynet stated that during an urgent meeting in the office of Israeli Minister of Energy and Water Yuval Steinitz with officials in charge of water and energy systems, as well as officials in charge of countering cyber-attacks in all systems, it became clear that the drinking water systems in Israel are not adequately protected from cyber-attacks.

Such attacks are a real threat in an increasingly networked world. Earlier this month, an independent and unknown hacker attempted to poison the water supply of a city in Florida in the U.S after accessing a control system infected with a virus.

In related news, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had his first phone call with U.S. President Joe Biden.

According to a White House statement, Biden assured Netanyahu of his intentions to strengthen defense cooperation with Israel and his administration’s firm commitment to Israel’s security.

The statement added that Biden confirmed his country’s support for the recent normalization of relations between Israel and the countries of the Arab and Islamic world.