Cyber attack stuck in the bud – thanks to suspicions of a group of pump workers in a central area of Israel who noticed how they turned on and off for no reason – just in time to avoid a dramatic situation in a country that has always been got into the “water problem” and where the advanced but delicate water system must work perfectly.
Israel-Iran, the secret war
“Cyber-winter is coming.” In a statement in mid-May – after an Israeli newspaper (Yedot Ahronoth) had given without too much emphasis and details the news of the attack – Yigal Unna, director general of Israel National Cyber Directorate had spoken of “recent developments” that have ushered in a new era of secret war: “There is nothing that describes enough how quickly and how madly attacks are moving in cyberspace. I think we will remember April and May 2020 as a turning point in the history of the modern cyber war. If the villains had succeeded in their conspiracy, we would now have to face, in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, very serious damage to the civilian population, a great lack of water and even worse. “
After an emergency government meeting with national security officers and cyber-war officers, Israel decides (9 May) to respond to Iran’s “organized and synchronized” attack with a cyber attack on a Vjcino port in Bandar Abbas, in the south of the country ruled by the Ayatollahs. On the orders of Naftali Bennett, then Minister of Defense in office, Israel carried out an attack of “small proportions but very sophisticated” against the port of Shahid Rajaee which manages almost half of Iran’s foreign trade (according to revelations made to Financial Times by two Israeli security officials).
What has happened in the last two months is the last (only for now) chapter of the underground war that sees Israel oppose Iran. A war that has taken place in the last two years, above all on an IT level, with high-tech ‘hacking’, cyber-attacks on government and military sites and “digital” use of secret and espionage services.
Iran, Khamenei: “Israel is a tumor in the Middle East, let’s arm the Palestinians”
In the past, Israel has been accused of creating (together with the United States) the computer worm Stuxnet in an attempt to destroy Tehran’s nuclear program, Iran has attempted several times (almost always unsuccessfully) to attack the Jewish state in recent years, but has demonstrated – see attack on computers and oil installations by the Saudi giant Aramco – of having greatly improved his cyber-war qualities.
Today the standard procedure in Israel is that the information systems of the security organizations (the Mossad, the Israeli defense forces, the Shin Bet, the Dimona nuclear reactor, the Nes Tziona Biological Institute, the military industries) and infrastructure Critical civilians are not connected to the Internet in order to prevent a potential domino effect that would affect other sites and infrastructure in the event of a cyber attack. According to Unna, the attempt to hack into Israel’s water systems, however, marked “a dangerous first time” because “it aims to cause damage to the real life of civilians”.