‘Terrorist with keyboards’ – UNIFIL targeted by Iranian hackers

Iranian hackers attempted to steal critical data about UNIFIL’s operations on the Israel-Lebanon border.

By World Israel News Staff

Iranian hackers attempted to breach UNIFIL’s digital systems in order to obtain critical data about its operations on the Israel-Lebanon border, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said during a speech at a cyber security conference on Wednesday.

“The leader of global, conventional terrorism is Iran. This is also true for cyberterrorism,” Gantz said at the Cyber Week conference. “Iran operates via proxies such as Hezbollah in all dimensions – including [in the] cyber [space.]

He added that “Iranian security institutions in cooperation with Hezbollah” had launched “an attempt to disrupt UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) operations.”

Gantz did not elaborate as to when the attack took place, or whether it was successful.

Iran “threatens to damage global infrastructure, it aims to spread fear, and it even attempts to influence democratic processes and governments,” he said, charging that Tehran had tried to influence the 2020 U.S. presidential election via nefarious cyber activity.

He described Iranian hackers and their proxies as “terrorists with keyboards” that pose a major threat to the security of countries around the world.

“They are just like any other terrorist,” he said. “We know who they are, we target them and those who direct them. They are in our sights as we speak – and not just in cyberspace. Not a single attack on Israel’s citizens will go by silently.”

Gantz said that international collaboration on mitigating the Iranian cyber threat is critical.

Israel “works closely with our partners,” he said. “The same cooperation frameworks that we are building in the region vis-à-vis Iran are also expanding to the cyber sphere. Together we can prevent significant harm to the citizens of the region and the world.”

Earlier in June, air raid sirens sounded in Jerusalem and Eilat, an event widely attributed to Iranian hackers.

In May 2020, Iranian hackers used American servers to launch a cyber attack on water facilities in Israel, aiming to disrupt pump operations and desalination.