Two more cyber attacks against Israeli water infrastructure were reportedly attempted in mid-July; Israeli Water Authority have confirmed that no damage was inflicted.
“These were specific, small drainage installations in the agriculture sector that were immediately and independently repaired by the locals, causing no harm to serve or any real-world effects,” the Water Authority said in a statement.
There was no indication of who was responsible for the attacks but they appear to be similar to attacks in April that were attributed by US and Israeli media sources to Iran. Israeli officials believe that the attacks create “an unpredictable risk scenario” as they would have shut down pumps, leaving thousands without water during the recent severe heatwave, as reported by Ynet news.
In April, OOSKAnews reported that a number of cyber attacks on command and control systems of several wastewater treatment plants, pumping stations and sewage water infrastructure had been attempted, in what appeared to be a coordinated effort according to Israel’s Water Authority.
The National Cyber Directorate contacted the heads of the involved companies and institutions at the time of the first attacks instructing them to report any disruptions to operations. Further, companies were advised to change passwords, update control software, and reduce internet connections. There was particular emphasis on systems involving chlorine control.
The attacks were considered to be sophisticated and close to successful and were attributed to Iranians who had hacked into the software that runs the pumps after routing through American and European servers to hide the source.
According to The Times of Israel: “Neither Israel nor Iran have officially acknowledged targeting each other’s civilian infrastructure, nor have they publicly described the severity of the cyberattacks.”
In early May 2020, networks supporting shipping and cargo handling operations within the Iranian port of Shahid Rajaei at Bandar Abbas allegedly suffered disruptions following a cyber intrusion, attributed in Iranian media to Israel.