JERUSALEM (VINnews) — A report by the Washington Post claims that Israel was behind a recent sophisticated cyberattack on an Iranian port facility which caused widespread chaos. The attack was apparently in retaliation for an attempt last month by Iran to target Israel’s water infrastructure.
The report, citing foreign and US officials, said Israel was likely behind the computer crash that brought the “bustling Shahid Rajaee port terminal to an abrupt and inexplicable halt” on May 9.
“Computers that regulate the flow of vessels, trucks and goods all crashed at once, creating massive backups on waterways and roads leading to the facility,” the Post reported, adding that it had seen satellite photos showing miles-long traffic jams leading to the port and ships still waiting to offload several days later.
Iran later admitted that an unknown foreign hacker had briefly knocked the port’s computers offline.
“A recent cyber attack failed to penetrate the PMO’s systems and was only able to infiltrate and damage a number of private operating systems at the ports,” Mohammad Rastad, managing director of the Ports and Maritime Organization, said in a statement to Iran’s ILNA news agency.
The port is a newly constructed shipping terminal in the Iranian coastal city of Bandar Abbas, on the Strait of Hormuz.
The Post, quoting a security official with a foreign government that monitored the incident, claimed that the damage was far more severe than Iran acknowledged and was apparently carried out by Israeli operatives, The official, who spoke on the condition that his identity and national affiliation not be revealed, called the attack “highly accurate,” and said that “There was total disarray” in the port..
There was no comment from the Israeli embassy in Washington or the Israel Defense Forces, the report said.
Israel was apparently shocked by the April 24-25 attack which targeted numerous water and sewage facilities across the country, according to the Ynet news site.”This is an attack that goes against all the codes of war. Even from the Iranians we didn’t expect something like this,” an official was quoted as saying.
The attack did minimal damage, though problems were reported at some facilities in local councils, the officials said.
The Water Authority and Israel National Cyber Directorate confirmed an “attempted cyber breach on water command and control systems.”
“The attempted attack was dealt with by the Water Authority and National Cyber Directorate. It should be emphasized that there was no harm to the water supply and it operated, and continues to operate, without interruption,” it said.