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Iranian hackers claim major attack on Israeli railway system as cyber war heats up

The hackers claimed that they had attacked 28 Israeli railway stations [Getty]

Date of publication: 31 July, 2020

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An Iranian hacker group has claimed responsibility for a major cyberattack affecting 28 railway stations in Israel, in the latest in a series of suspected attacks in Israel and Iran.

An Iranian hacker group has claimed to have launched a series of cyberattacks on Israel’s railway infrastructure since July 14.

The Turkish Anadolu news agency reported that the Iranian group, which calls itself “Cyber Avengers” had made a statement claiming to have attacked 150 servers belonging to Israel’s railways.

The attacks affected operations at 28 Israeli railway stations, the statement, which was published by Telegram channels linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) said.

The Cyber Avengers group said that they had launched the attack at 1:20 am on July 14, the same time as the airstrikes which killed IRGC commander Qasem Soleimani took place on January 3 this year.

The group published a map showing the stations that had allegedly been affected but analysts took their claims with caution, saying that there was not enough evidence to substantiate their claims.

Read more: As mysterious explosions rock Iran's nuclear facilities, is cyber-warfare Israel's newest weapon of choice?

The Cyber Avengers said that the attacks continued for ten days, ending on July 24, but warned that the “worst is yet to come” and claimed that Israeli railway stations had suffered “severe damage to equipment and infrastructure”.

The aim of the operation was to “show that we can plan the collision of tens of trains if we so wish,” the hacker collective said.

The Cyber Avengers also claimed responsibility for a huge electricity cut in Israel earlier in July, but experts said this could not be verified.

Israel and Iran have reportedly been engaged in cyber warfare for a long time, although neither side has claimed responsibility for cyber attacks and the hacker groups associated with each country operate in secret.

In April this year, a number of water treatment plants in Israel came under “heavy and sophisticated” cyber-attacks, according to Anadolu, while an Iranian port was attacked in May.

Israel has been suspected of responsibility for explosions at nuclear power plants and other sensitive sites in Iran, which took place in late June and early July.

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