Israel carried out a cyberattack on Iranian port facility in response to attack on water infrastructure

Israel carried out a cyberattack on Iran’s Shahid Rajaee port on May 9 as retribution for Iran’s cyberattack on its Water Authority sites. The attack caused chaos at the Iranian port and massive traffic jams in the area, intelligence officials told The Washington Post.

On May 9, shipping traffic at Iran’s bustling Shahid Rajaee port terminal came to an abrupt and inexplicable halt. 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.

After waiting a day, Iranian officials acknowledged that an unknown foreign hacker had briefly knocked the port’s computers off­line.

A security official called the attack “highly accurate” and said the damage to the Iranian port was more serious than described in official Iranian accounts. “The attack caused total disarray,” he said.

Now, more than a week later, a more complete explanation has come to light: The port was the victim of a substantial cyberattack that US and foreign government officials say appears to have originated in Israel.

On May 9, the Israeli security cabinet held a top secret meeting to discuss an Iranian cyberattack on Israeli water authority sites.

The attack targeted several Water Authority facilities and was thwarted by the authority’s cyber division. However, the government saw the attack as a major escalation by the Iranians and the crossing of a red line since it targeted civilian facilities, which is against every ethic and every code even in times of war.

Following the attack, Israeli cybersecurity officials gave an immediate order to all sites affected to change passwords and take steps to stop any breach of their systems while some sites were instructed to go offline.

Daniel Lacker, who heads the Water Authority’s security department, reported the attack.

“We have received a number of reports regarding a cyber attack on the systems. No damage was reported during the incident,” he said.