Prof. Yitzhak Ben Yisrael
Prof. Yitzhak Ben Yisrael Israel news photo: Flash 90

A Syrian organization launched a cyber-attack on Haifa's water system two weeks ago, a high ranking Israeli official revealed Saturday.

Speaking at a public panel in Be'er Sheva, Prof. Yitzhak Ben Yisrael, Chairman of the National Council for Research and Development in the Ministry of Science, said the attack was carried out by the “Syrian Electronic Army.”

The attack failed, he said. Ben Yisrael, who established Israel's cyber warfare array and who also heads the Israeli Space Agency. He confirmed that the attack was carried out in retaliation for Israel's reported bombing of targets inside Syria.

Ben Yisrael said it was not clear what motivates the Syrian group, and whether it is loyal to President Bashar Assad or not.

Besides the retaliation factor, the timing for the attack may have simply been dictated by the fact that the organization spotted a weak point in the defenses of the water system, Ben Yisrael said.