Iranian cyber-hackers attempted to carry out a large scale cyber-attack on Israel’s civilian communications infrastructure during the recent war with Hamas, a senior security source revealed to the media on Sunday.
A senior commander in the IDF Computer Service Directorate told Walla! that as Israel faced terrorists in Gaza, it also faced “a significant Iranian effort” in cyberspace.
“This is not something we have seen before, both in terms of scope and the type of targets,” the source said.
While able to confirm that Iran was behind attacks that targeted the civilian sector, their main goal, which was to cause maximum disruption, was not achieved.
Cyber attackers mainly focused their efforts on bringing down IDF websites but online defenses were able to withstand their assaults, the source said.
The IDF’s Homefront Command website, which provides the public with security information, came under attack by Iranian hackers. The website of the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit was also disrupted as well.
According to the source, the IDF has been implementing the latest defensive cyber-warfare capabilities as cyber-attacks become more frequent on the Jewish state.
The IDF has also been making great technological strides in helping relay information from their intelligence gathering services to troops on the ground. The source explained that just one year ago, information gathered by the IDF intelligence Corps had do go through various channels until it reached those who needed the information.
Today, thanks to a new network and system implemented by the Intelligence Corps and Computer Service Directorate, information during Operation Protective Edge was passed in real-time to soldiers on the ground, saving countless lives.
This has led a dramatically faster sensor-to-shooter cycle in which terror targets detected in Gaza were quickly destroyed.
“Our aim is to enable a military force to be far more effective than it was a year ago,” the source said. “We succeeded in seeing that during this operation.”
Ground forces, the air force and navy are now directly linked to Military Intelligence. In many instances, troops in Gaza were able to access encrypted servers that contained information on new targets as gathered by Military intelligence.
Visual intelligence was available immediately, allowing ground forced to review aerial views of combat zones before entering them.
“Seventy-five percent of the military’s visual intelligence is on the network,” the source said. “We can see, online, aerial visual intelligence, and what the aircraft is seeing.”
In addition to visual intelligence, the network enabled “intelligence-based combat” in Gaza. Ground forces operating in the Strip were able to be directed to terror targets by Military Intelligence based on information obtained by questioning Hamas suspects who were taken into custody by Israel.
As an example, the source relayed a situation in which a navy vessel fired precision guided missiles some 9 kilometers inside Gaza after communicating with armored forces on the ground who supplied target locations.
“We reached a situation in which a navy vessel, armed with precision guided ammunition, received targets from the Southern Command’s target center, or from ground forces divisions,” the source said.