Trump the target? Recent attack on Florida water facility resembles Iranian one against Israel

The Florida water facility is about 300 kilometers (180 miles) from where former resident Donald Trump is staying at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

The recent cyberattack on a Florida water treatment plant last week bears striking similarities to Iranian attacks last April on Israeli water facilities, part of an ongoing cyberwar, a veteran Middle East analyst said Tuesday.

Authorities in Florida said that they had intercepted a cyberattack on the drinking water facility in the Tampa suburb of Oldsmar, where hackers attempted to raise the level of dangerous chemicals in the water, a move that could have poised thousands.

Engineers at the plant spotted the attack and shut it down before damage could be done. The investigation is ongoing.

Why Florida should have been targeted by Iran, if indeed it was behind the attack, is open to conjecture, but former President Donald Trump, the bête noire of the Islamic Republic, has made the state his new home.

The Florida water facility is about 300 kilometers (180 miles) from where former President Donald Trump is staying at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach.

It could meant the ongoing cyberwar between Israel and Iran is spilling over into America.

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Senior Israeli officials expect that cyberwar will intensify in the coming year as Israel seeks to convince the Biden administration not to re-enter the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran.

Israel is considered to be more capable than Iran in cyberwarfare. When Israel was blamed for shutting down Iran’s Shahid Rajaee port in May 2020, cyberanalysts said it only put a fraction of Israel’s abilities on display.

That attack was seen as retaliation for presumed-to-be Iranian cyberattack on Israel’s water infrastructure. The head of Israel’s national cyberdefense, Yigal Ona, described that attack as having the potential to cause a great deal of damage.

An Israeli investigation is looking to see if there is a connection between the Florida case and the Israeli case to ascertain if the same person or entity carried out both attacks, neither of which involved any demands for money.

Cyberwar has become part of what is known in IDF parlance as the “battle between the wars” with Prime Minister Netanyahu saying recently that “Iranian cyberattacks are a daily matter.”

According to Arab affairs analyst Yoni Ben-Menachem of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, cyber​​attacks play an important role in Israel’s deterrence against Iran, which is slowly discovering Israel’s offensive capabilities.

According to security sources, Israel has the ability to carry out cyberattacks on Iran’s nuclear facilities and on military and civilian targets alike. These attacks are carried out without “fingerprints” and help to put pressure on Iran.

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The Iranians are expected to increase their own attacks on civilian infrastructure, such as water and electricity, and other targets that will harm the Israeli economy.