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Iran is carrying out cyber attacks against its own allies, among other countries around the world, according to Gaby Portnoy, Director General of the Israel National Cyber Directorate.

Speaking at the start of the annual Cyber Week conference at Tel Aviv University on Tuesday, Portnoy said some of the countries Iran is attacking include Saudi Arabia, Oman, Canada, the United States, the UAE, India, the UK, Germany, Australia, Austria, and more.


“We have identified that Iran is attacking its allies and other countries for information extortion and damaging digital services,” Portnoy said.

“The information stolen from government systems is then used for Iranian Cyber-Terrorism. Iranian cyber aggression is an international problem, not only an Israeli one,” he said, warning that an international solution is needed.

“We see new players like Homeland Justice group, probably operated by the MOIS and worked before in Albania. We see the Imperial Kitten work, operated by the IRGC, both in Israel and the US, where four activists and four straw companies were sanctioned for operating against federal facilities”.

Since October 7th, Iran has expanded its cyber attacks on Israel, including “crossing humanitarian red lines, such as the thwarted attack on Ziv Hospital in Tzfat,” he said.

“Iran’s actions constitute a complete violation of international privacy laws and conventions, causing worldwide damage to innocent civilians,” Portnoy noted. He called for a joint front in defense, deterrence, and charging together a price from Iran for the world damage they cause.

Cyber attacks since the start of the Iron Swords war have increased threefold compared to the past, he added.

Actions taken by the Israel National Cyber Directorate during the period have included threat intelligence, the technological projects “Cyber Dome” and “Crystal Ball”, regulation, efforts to increase resilience and awareness, adapting the 119 call center and handling cyber incidents, national and international cooperation, and more.

“We need to step up the way we work together, where we have national-level Cyber Dome defense, sectoral and organizational cloud SOCs, like the CyberShield project we are developing, to detect and defend against cyber attacks while protecting all sides’ interests and privacy.”

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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.