Security cabinet: Israel didn't expect Iranian cyberattack on water system

'This was an attack that goes against all codes, even in war. This is an attack that cannot be done.'

Iranian flag and cyber code [Illustrative] (photo credit: PIXABAY)
Iranian flag and cyber code [Illustrative]
(photo credit: PIXABAY)
An alleged Iranian cyberattack on Israeli water and sewage facilities last month was the subject of the first security cabinet meeting since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak on Thursday.
"This was an attack that goes against all codes, even in war," said an Israeli official to Channel 13. "Even from the Iranians we didn't expect something like this. This is an attack that cannot be done."
The attack did not cause substantial damage except for a few issues in local water systems, according to Israeli officials, but is still seen as a substantial escalation by the Iranians, especially since the target was civilian infrastructure.
According to a Fox News report on the attack, Iran used American servers to hack into the Israeli facilities.
Foreign correspondent for Fox News Trey Yingst wrote on Twitter: “A senior official at the US Department of Energy declined to comment on any specifics related to an ‘ongoing investigation.’ The official reiterated that the DOE routinely gathers and shares info with private sector partners to protect the US and it’s allies from cyberattacks.”
The attack took place at the end of April and affected several Israeli Water Authority facilities.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed Iranian cyberattacks on Israel at last year’s CyberTech conference in Tel Aviv, saying: “Iran is attacking Israel on a daily basis. We monitor it and prevent it every day.”
The cabinet meeting came amid a heightened number of airstrikes on Iranian and Iranian-backed targets attributed to Israel in the past few weeks, including strikes on Damascus, Aleppo, eastern Syria and near the Syria-Israel border. The strikes were reported to have damaged sites belonging to Syrian and Iranian forces and Iran-backed militias and at least some of them resulted in casualties.
Israeli security sources reported last week that Iran appeared to be reducing its forces Syria, but former IDF intelligence chief Amos Yadlin, US Special Representative for Syria James Jeffrey and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights all denied that Iran was showing signs of withdrawing from Syria.
Alex Winston contributed to this report.