Photo Credit: Moshe Shai/FLASH90
Inside the Eshkol water filtration plant.

Iran has “crossed a red line” with a cyberattack on Israel’s water and sewage facilities.

That was the upshot of a top secret security cabinet meeting held this past Thursday, according to unnamed senior officials quoted in a report Saturday night Israel’s Channel 13 television news.


The officials said that although the Iranian cyberattack did little damage, it is seen as a “major escalation” by the Islamic Republic because it targeted civilian infrastructure.

The source of the attack was first reported Thursday by Fox News. An unnamed senior US official with the Energy Department quoted in the report said Iranian hackers routed the attack through servers located in the United States. The official underscored the Trump administration’s commitment to keeping both the US and its allies secure.

Several Israeli Water Authority facilities were targeted, but the attack was thwarted by the authority’s cyber division. Affected sites were immediately warned to change passwords and take steps to stop any breach in progress; other sites were directed to take pre-emptive action and go offline.

The attack was first reported last week on the Hebrew-language Ynet news site, but at that time it was not yet clear who was behind it.

“This is an attack that goes against all the codes of war,” a senior Israeli official said, according to Channel 13 news. “Even from the Iranians we didn’t expect something like this.”


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.