A senior official from the US National Security Agency (NSA) has said that alongside the Gaza war, Israel has faces cyber-attacks and disinformation from Iran and others.
Rob Joyce, the head of the Cybersecurity Directorate at the NSA, emphasized the pressure of these events, but also stated that most of them do not constitute major attacks and do not have a significant impact.
According to him, some of the attacks are carried out using the “Wiper” method, while others involve ransomware attacks, which have occurred in the past as well.
In recent days, the Israeli National Cyber Directorate issued a statement warning about the presence of an Iranian malware called “Wiper” in the country’s internet infrastructure.
According to this senior official from the National Security Agency, Israel is currently concerned about three different threat groups in the cyber domain, with the Islamic Republic being at the forefront.
Due to the close relationship between the Islamic Republic and Hamas, the leaders of the United States’ national security have warned about Iran’s involvement in this conflict, citing its cyber capabilities and the current tensions.
Israel and Iran have a long history of cyber operations against one another, with Israel scoring successes in sabotage by cyber warfare against Iran’s nuclear program and other sensitive targets.
Recently, Christopher Wray, the director of the FBI, emphasized that if the current conflict in Gaza escalates, there may be an increased threat to the vital infrastructure of the United States by Iran and other cyber groups.
Rob Joyce identified “hacktivist” groups as the second threat against Israel. These hacker groups are often independent and have political and social objectives.
In the current battle in Israel, it is difficult to determine the affiliation of hacktivists to the warring governments.
The last threat refers to ransomware groups. These cyber criminals have considered the current conflict, which has created tensions and divisions in the world, as an opportune time for exploitation.
The head of the Cybersecurity Directorate at the National Security Agency emphasized that Israel’s ongoing battle has led the country to improve its cyber defense capabilities.
According to him, Israeli institutions have established appropriate structures and processes to protect their vital infrastructure from attackers.
Rob Joyce noted that currently, most of the destructive activity against Israel comes from the Islamic Republic of Iran and hacktivist groups.
He refrained from commenting on the possible role of Russia in the current cyber threat situation.
The head of the Cybersecurity Directorate emphasized that the dissemination of false information and disinformation campaigns have likely had the greatest impact on the current conflicts.
It was reported in October that a hacking group with ties to Iran, known as the Crambus espionage group, executed an extensive intrusion into the computer systems of a Middle Eastern government.
The espionage group’s intrusion spanned an eight-month period from February to September 2023. The cyber attackers employed a range of tactics during the operation, including the theft of sensitive files and passwords, Symantec revealed.