Iran behind cyber attack on Israeli Water Authority; operated through US servers

Iranian hackers used American computer servers to launch an attack on Israeli  water infrastructure sites last month.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

Iran is behind the cyberattack on Israeli water authority sites last month, Fox News reported Thursday.

According to the report, the Iranian hackers used American computer servers to launch their attack. The U.S. Department of Energy refused to comment on the specific incident, but a senior official said the Trump administration was committed to protecting America and its allies against these sorts of attacks.

Two weeks ago, unknown hackers staged a cyber attack on water facilities in Israel with the aim of taking over operating systems and disrupting pump operations.

The attack on several water-pumping stations and sewage plants around the country apparently took place over April 24-25 , however, it is unclear whether any operating systems were taken over or pump operations disrupted.

Water and sewage operators were instructed to act immediately to change passwords for the operation of the facilities, “with emphasis on operational systems and in particular on chlorine adding systems,” a Ynet report said.

On sites where passwords could not be changed, operators were told to consider disconnecting systems from the internet.

No operational damage was reported, and the national water authority issued a short statement saying that “the issue was addressed.”

According to information received by Ynet, the attacks occurred on a Friday and Saturday and were identified by cyber defense protocols.

In January, the Israeli “white hat” hackers group, which works to thwart attacks in real-time, warned that major Iranian cyber threats were on the horizon.

Initially, the Israel Water Authority stated that “the subject of attempted cyber attack is not new and is constantly being addressed by the appropriate professionals.”

A few hours after the news was leaked, the Israel Water Authority released an official statement saying, “The Water Authority and the National Cyber ​​Array are updating that an attempt has recently been made on the command and control systems of the water sector. The attempted attack was handled by the Water Authority and the National Cyber ​​Array.”

“It should be emphasized that there was no damage to the water supply and it is operating and being operated as normal,” the Water Authority added.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has warned in the past that Iran “threatens the very existence of Israel.

Pompeo is expected to make a lightning 24-hour visit to Israel next week, the first foreign official to do so since the pandemic began. It is expected that Iran will be high on the agenda when he meets Israeli leaders.