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Israel response to cyber attack sends clear warning to Iran

The Israeli authorities reportedly took Iran's cyber attack on its water systems very seriously, retaliating quickly and warning Tehran of its capabilities.
A man is reflected in a monitor as he takes part in a training session at Cybergym, a cyber-warfare training facility backed by the Israel Electric Corporation, at their training center in Hadera, Israel   July 8, 2019. Picture taken July 8, 2019. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun - RC168E30C5C0

Israel was the target of a cyber attack of rare proportions on the night of April 24. It hit Israeli water and sewage facilities, penetrating the computer systems of several regional water facilities and briefly disrupting their operations. Israel’s National Cyber Directorate identified an attempt to take control of the chlorine control system, some pumps and the command and control center of Israel’s Water Authority. Cyber defense systems identified and blocked the attack before it did more than disable a few pumps for several minutes. Experts believe the attack was state sponsored, perhaps by Iran, rather than the work of amateur hackers.

Less than two weeks later, according to assessments in the West, retaliation struck. The Washington Post reported on May 19 that Iran’s largest port, the Shahid Rajaee terminal in Bandar Abbas, had come under cyber-attack a few days earlier. Some 60% of Iran’s trade passes through the port to or from the Strait of Hormuz and it also houses Iran’s most strategically important naval base. WaPo cited US and foreign sources as linking Israel to the attack.

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