Cyberattacks against Israeli government websites are possibly retaliation for an alleged failed Mossad operation.
The Mossad allegedly attempted to attack the Islamic Republic of Iran’s key Fordow nuclear enrichment site, Iranian media claimed on Monday night.
There was no way to independently confirm the report. Tehran frequently claims to have busted Mossad cells when actually it is merely arresting local opposition elements.
According to Iranian media, a statement from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) intelligence unit said a Mossad team that was seeking to carry out an act of sabotage at Fordow was arrested.
Further, reports said that an employee had been given cash and a laptop to sabotage the site, but that he was caught and arrested by the IRGC.
Fordow is the second most important site in terms of volume of centrifuges for enriching uranium, after the Natanz facility.
It is also important because Israeli intelligence and nuclear experts believe that it was previously intended to be where Iran would carry out the final stages of uranium enrichment to the 90% weaponized level and because it is harder to attack from the air, being that it resides under a mountain.
The government confirmed late Monday that a wide number of government websites had been hit and were possibly still being hit by a massive cyberattack.
Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel said that officials were working hard at tackling the issue.
Former senior cyber authority official Rafael Franko, founder of Code Blue, said that Black Shadow, said to be affiliated with Iran, was behind cyberattacks on the diamond exchange over the weekend, potentially in retaliation to other events related to ongoing Israeli-Iranian conflict.
He warned the country to heighten cyber-preparedness during this rocky period and leading into the Passover holiday when Israeli adversaries often mount cyberattacks.
מרשות התקשוב ומערך הסייבר הלאומי נמסר:— gov.il (@Israelgov) March 14, 2022
בשעות האחרונות זוהתה מתקפת מניעת שירות על ספקית תקשורת אשר כתוצאה ממנה, נמנעה לזמן קצר הגישה למספר אתרים, ביניהם אתרי ממשלה.
נכון לשעה זו כלל האתרים שבו לפעילות.
Confidas CEO Ram Levi said that there was a major attack on Cellcom, likely a denial of service attack where the cyberattacker tries to overwhelm the victim with data and inquiries.
He said the attack started at 6:15 p.m. and ended at 7:30 p.m. and also declared it an Iranian cyberattack.
Some speculated that this was part of Iranian retaliation for the alleged attempted sabotage of Fordow.
The Islamic Republic also claimed multiple recent arrests of Mossad officials and that its missile strikes in the Kurdish Erbil portion of Iraq were aimed at clandestine Mossad sites there.
According to foreign sources, the Mossad successfully hit three Iranian nuclear sites from July 2020-June 2021 and possibly other nuclear-related sites as well even as recently as September 2021.