Iran and Israel Embroiled in Tit-for-tat Cyberattacks

  • Although the Iranian attack was carried out via US-based servers, national security agencies were able to quickly discern the perpetrator.
  • On May 9, Israel launched a retaliatory cyberattack on the Iranian Bandar Abbas port terminal.
  • Iranian lawmakers passed a law that prohibits the use of Israeli hardware and software.

Iran and Israel have been engaging in a tit-for-tat cyber intrusion fight since the former fired the first shot last month. The attack targeted critical Israeli water infrastructural facilities. They included storage tanks and pipeline systems. Fortunately, minimal damage was caused.

Cyberwarfare is a part of Iran’s “soft war” military strategy. Being both a victim and wager of cyberwarfare, Iran is considered an emerging military power in the field.

Israeli system operators were able to partially thwart the attack by changing system passwords and reinforcing anti-intrusion measures. Although the Iranian attack was carried out via US-based servers, national security agencies were able to quickly discern the perpetrator.

On May 9, Israel launched a retaliatory cyberattack on the Iranian Bandar Abbas port terminal. The incursion paralyzed activities at the port for several days.

Iran Bans Use of Israeli Software and Hardware

A few days ago, Iranian lawmakers passed a law that prohibits the use of Israeli hardware and software. The broader rule states that any cooperation with the “Zionist Regime” is an act against God. Iran’s parliamentary spokesman, Seyed Hossein Naqavi, offered the following statement about this.

“Based on the first article of the bill, all Iranian bodies are required to use the country’s regional and international capacities to confront the Zionist regime’s measures, specially its warmongering and terrorist moves, siege (of Gaza), settlement construction, displacing the Palestinian people and occupation of countries’ lands, including Golan.”

The legislators failed to clarify how the new law will be enforced.

The announcement was made just a few days before the al-Quds Day event that was held on Friday. It is characterized by demonstrations against the Israeli nation, and notable leaders that support injustices against Palestinians. The observance symbolizes solidarity with the Palestinians, who have for decades decried segregation and loss of territory to Israel.

The day’s events usually involve the burning of Israeli and US flags. Last year, effigies of both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump were burned on the streets. Demonstrations were held across 950 locations in the country.

Israel has attached growing importance to cyber-tactics since their 2006 war with Hezbollah, and became, along with the U.S., France and a couple of other nations, involved in cyber-war planning. They are alleged to have carried out cyber attacks against Syria and Iran.

This year, however, the celebrations were limited to zones with low coronavirus infection rates. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) was tasked with performing a symbolic motorcade rally in Tehran. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani declared that the celebrations would only take place in 218 cities this year due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Over 7,000 Iranians have lost their lives to the epidemic. The actual number of fatalities is feared to be much higher. The Iranian army celebrated the Army Day last month using mobile hospitals and disinfectant vehicles to denote the fight against the scourge. Military vehicles, as well as the nation’s state of the art weaponry, including missiles, are usually on display on the day of the commemoration.

Sanctions Taking Their Toll

According to former Israeli defense minister, Naftali Bennett, who vacated his position a few days ago to allow Benny Gantz to take over, Iran is already moving its bases out of Syria. The coronavirus epidemic, as well as sanctions imposed by the United States, have taken their toll on the nation’s resources, making it difficult to engage in a multiplex war.

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Samuel Gush. W

Samuel Waweru is a Technology, Entertainment, and Political News writer at Communal News.


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