Israel leaking evidence of its involvement in covert Iran bombing campaign that threatens to spark a wider war
A relentless campaign of aggression against Iran is entering a new phase with cyberattacks on military and civilian targets that aim to cripple Rouhani’s government and set the stage for wider conflict in the Middle East.
by Raul Diego
Part 4 - A matter of cyber convenience
In May, a purported Iranian cyberattack on six Israeli water treatment plants that was ostensibly foiled by Israeli “cyber” authorities took place. Stories were circulated in the aftermath about how the attack “could have sickened hundreds,” despite the fact that no evidence of an attack of any kind was ever produced. Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennet pushed for a “strong” response, which eventually manifested as a cyberattack targeting Iran’s Shahid Rajaee Port terminal in Bandar Abbas on the strategic Strait of Hormuz.
Another supposed cyberattack on Israel’s water system took place on July 17. Israeli officials claim that “two attacks were aimed at agricultural water pumps in the Upper Galilee and infrastructure in the centre of the country,” and while no culprit was named, it is implied that Iran carried out these attacks, as well. Israeli media has been propagating this narrative since the first ostensible cyberattack on the water processing plants, which – like the last one – resulted in no damage deeming it a “significant escalation by Iran and a crossing of a red line.”
The head of Israel’s National Cyber Directorate warned on that occasion that we were just seeing “the beginning” and that a “cyber winter is coming.” Other, more “moderate” Israeli voices, like Amos Yadlin, the head of the Institute for National Security Studies, and a former head of IDF military intelligence, have looked approvingly upon this shift in focus for Israeli policy. “According to foreign sources, it appears that the prime minister focused this week on Iran rather than [his plan for West Bank] annexation,” he tweeted last Friday, adding that this was the very policy the veteran of the Yom Kippur war has been recommending.
“If Israel is accused by official sources”, he continued, “then we need to be operationally prepared for the possibility of an Iranian reaction (through cyber, firing missiles from Syria or a terror attack overseas).”
The drumbeat for war with Iran seems to be intensifying as 2020 reaches its halfway point and the narrative that cyberattacks are to play an inciting role in the coming conflict is being drilled into the collective mind. The U.S. and Israel are committed to exploiting invisible and unverifiable “attacks” on systems, which they themselves have built and sold to the world with backdoors to the very technology they claim are the target of “malicious actors”, who also happen to be in the way of their global interests.
Iran, for its part, is comfortable stating that “the Iranian government does not engage in cyberwarfare”, as Alireza Miryousefi, spokesman for Iran’s mission to the UN, told the Washington Post. We can take his word for it, or trust the claims of Israeli cybersecurity firm ClearSky, which “closely tracks Iranian hacking activity” and has put forward unsubstantiated accounts of Iranian hacking of U.S. pharmaceutical company, Gilead Sciences Inc. The choice may be one between war and peace.