Israel reportedly carried out the cyberattack that severely hampered operations at an Iranian port, in apparent retaliation to a similar effort by Tehran that targeted the Jewish state’s civilian water infrastructure.
According to The Washington Post, which cited US and foreign officials, Israel likely perpetrated the hack that brought the “bustling Shahid Rajaee Port terminal to an abrupt and inexplicable halt [on May 9].”
The attack simultaneously crashed the Iranian computer systems that “regulate the flow of vessels, trucks and goods … [thereby] creating massive backups on waterways and roads leading to the facility,” the report noted.
It comes after Iran’s alleged attempt in late April to damage Israel’s potable water supply, which according to local media was viewed by Jerusalem as a serious escalation due to the nature of the target.
“This goes against all the codes of war,” an Israeli official was thereafter quoted as saying. “Even from the Iranians we did not expect something like this,” the source stressed.
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The Tehran-attributed cyberattack, which purportedly involved the use of US servers, caused minimal harm, although some problems were reported at Israeli facilities in small urban areas.
The latest apparent tit-for-tat exchange perhaps represents a new phase in the covert “war between wars” pitting arch-foes Israel and Iran against each other in places ranging from Syria to Lebanon – and, of course, cyber space.