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Daily Israel Report

Iran Aided Hamas in Cyber-War on Israel

IDF reveals that in addition to providing weapons, Iran launched unprecedented cyber attack on Israel during Operation Protective Edge.
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 8/17/2014, 7:51 PM

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Reuters

A senior IDF source revealed Sunday that in addition to supplying Hamas terrorists with weapons, including so-called "Judgement Day" missiles, Iran supported the Gaza terror group by launching a massive cyber assault on Israel during Operation Protective Edge.

The source, a senior commander in the IDF Computer Service Directorate, told Walla! on Sunday that as Israel faced terrorists in the Hamas enclave, it also faced "a significant Iranian effort" to attack the Jewish state through cyber warfare.

"We haven't seen such a scope (of attacks) like this in the past, also in terms of the type of targets," said the commander, who elaborated that Israeli civilian communications infrastructures also was attacked by Iran.

The IDF's Homefront Command website, which provides security information to the Israeli public such as rocket warnings, also came under fire by the Iranian hackers, and the IDF Spokesperson's Unit site was targeted as well.

Arutz Sheva's Hebrew website came under a cyber attack during the operation too, although the culprits there were Turkish and not Iranian. Turkey replaced Iran in 2012 as Hamas's leading financial sponsor.

Fortunately, the IDF has been making impressive technological strides in defensive cyber-warfare, according to the commander, who remarked that just a year ago IDF forces on the ground often had trouble receiving information gathered by the IDF Intelligence Corps, which had to go through various sources first.

Now, thanks to a new network system of the Intelligence Corps and Computer Service Directorate, information in Operation Protective Edge was passed in real-time to soldiers on the ground.

The commander gave an example from the operation in which a terrorist involved in the digging of terror tunnels was captured by IDF forces.

During the IDF investigation of the terrorist, information on targets extracted from him was passed real-time through the new technology, and was transmitted by the Intelligence Corps to the Navy, which was able to immediately fire on the targets with precise munitions.

Roughly 65% of the new technology network is completed, according to the source, with the rest of the process promising to further connect units on the ground to essential intelligence information.

The commander also noted on the threat to the IDF posed by the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS), which has been conquering large portions of Iraq and Syria while committing various atrocities.

"They are a primitive organization, but effective. There are ten thousand fighters travelling in pick-up trucks, something like (Mongolian Emperor) Genghis Khan's hordes. They work through a network, and document their murderous attacks. In this way they exercise a strong element of consciousness," said the commander, noting their methods of instilling fear.