Iran trying to disrupt UNIFIL in Lebanon with cyberattacks - Gantz

Defense Minister Benny Gantz: "Israel knows the cyber systems and operational methods of its opponent."

 DEFENSE MINISTER Benny Gantz offered to raise the sum provided by the state to 75% of the tuition, thus giving the government a 55-6 victory. (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
DEFENSE MINISTER Benny Gantz offered to raise the sum provided by the state to 75% of the tuition, thus giving the government a 55-6 victory.
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

Iran is trying to disrupt UNIFIL in Lebanon in cooperation with Hezbollah by “carrying out a cyber operation aimed at stealing materials about UNIFIL’s deployment in the area for the use of Hezbollah,” Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Tuesday at the International Cyber Conference.

“This is another attack by Iran and Hezbollah on Lebanese citizens, and on Lebanon’s stability,” he said.

According to Gantz, Iran is challenging Israel not only in the air, land and at sea, but has been waging cyberattacks against it for over a decade. While Israel faced several significant cyberattacks a decade ago, it now faces over 1,000 attacks a year.

“Governments and democracies are tasked with defense and deterrence. We must charge a heavy price from those who attempt to harm us and this is how Israel operates. The cyber dimension is boundless but not without traces.”

Defense Minister Benny Gantz

“Governments and democracies are tasked with defense and deterrence,” he said. “We must charge a heavy price from those who attempt to harm us and this is how Israel operates. The cyber dimension is boundless but not without traces. It’s important to emphasize that Israel knows the cyber systems and operational methods of its opponent.”

Iran is not only the “leader of global conventional terrorism,” Gantz noted, it is also using hacker groups to conduct attacks against Israel and other countries in the region and the world.

Iranian flag and cyber code [Illustrative] (credit: PIXABAY)Iranian flag and cyber code [Illustrative] (credit: PIXABAY)

Iran's hack attacks

Iran, “threatens to damage global infrastructure, it aims to spread fear, and it even attempts to influence democratic processes and governments,” he said. It attempted to influence the US presidential election. It also tried to carry out cyber operations against international targets like charities and government networks in the US.

Gantz confirmed that the Shahid Kaveh unit operated by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps conducted research to damage ships, gas stations and industrial plants in several Western countries including Britain, the United States, France and Israel.

Last year, classified documents, allegedly from Iran, revealed secret research conducted by the unit into how a cyberattack could be used to sink a cargo ship or blow up a fuel pump at a gas station.

The internal files, about 57 pages of five research reports, were obtained by Sky News, which quoted an unnamed source as saying that he believed the work was “evidence of efforts by Iran to collect intelligence on civilian infrastructure that could be used to identify targets for future cyberattacks.”

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

The defense minister said that the responsibility for these sorts of attacks lies with the governments and terrorist groups that guide the proxies which he called “terrorists with keyboards.” He warned that there are a “variety” of possible responses to cyberattacks, in and outside the cyber domain.

“They are just like any other terrorist,” Gantz 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.”