The Cyberattacks Accompanying Iran’s Missiles

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Iran-sponsored cyberattacks have significantly increased in recent weeks, with multiple hacker groups shifting their focus to Israeli targets. Indeed, before Iran’s missile attack on Israel, the pro-Iranian cyber gang Handala claimed to have breached radar systems and sent 500,000 text messages to Israeli citizens.

The hackers, who have previously attacked the Israeli government and private institutions multiple times, have posted screenshots of an allegedly breached RADA system, stating: “For the second time, we hacked your radar systems, but this time, it was with a difference! You only have a few hours to repair your radar systems! We started the game! We suggest you run away now…”. However, the screenshot displayed several inconsistencies, such as several coordinates that were not in Israel. Furthermore, it’s still unclear whether this attack against military tactical radar systems was even successful.

A separate announcement by the cybergang claimed sending over 500,000 texts and “dumping” 5.2TB of data from sensitive conversations from an alleged hack on digital services company 99 Digital. The text messages read: “People will pay for the crimes and stupidity of your leaders. No doubt your leaders will regret these foolish adventures. Clear the cities, you might see less damage! Don’t blink and don’t sleep, the chance of escape is less than ten seconds, maybe your city will be chosen.”

Israeli officials report that the country saw the number of cyberattacks against it tripling in the past few weeks. Israel’s Cyber defense chief Gaby Portnoy has stated that Iranian-linked hacker groups conduct cyberattacks from a disguised IT company in Tehran. “The attack intensity is higher than ever before with Iranian and Hezbollah groups cooperating to attack Israel in every sector.”

According to a report by Check Point, the Revolutionary Guard and the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence performed over 2,000 attacks each in the first week of April alone. Together, they operate more than 10 different attack groups, and have more than doubled their malicious activity against Israel.

The cyberattack campaign against Israel from April 1st to the 8th involved 65 groups carrying out attacks like DDoS, defacement, and many more. Recent victims include the Golan Regional Council, Levinsky College, and the Israeli Study Center. Hackers also managed to use compromised servers to send malicious emails to Israeli media and other organizations.