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Israel's Channel 12 Says Iran Hackers Targeted Planes Of World Leaders Arriving For Holocaust Memorial

Revolutionary Guard hackers at work. FILE PHOTO
Revolutionary Guard hackers at work. FILE PHOTO

Israel's Channel 12 on Sunday reported that cyber-attacks originating from Iran were among the 800 distinct cyber-attacks on Israel's Ben Gurion Airport and planes of world leaders arriving in Israel to attend Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial on 23 January.

According to The Times of Israel on Sunday Channel 12 cited officials from the Airports Authority Cyber Division in a report that said last week, when world leaders including U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Russian President Vladimir Putin were arriving in Israel to attend the memorial, more than 800 cyber-attacks targeted Israel's international airport and the planes landing there.

Channel 12, also known as Keshet 12, is a free-to-air television owned by a media group of the same name.

The report said the attacks originated in Iran, China, North Korea, Russia and Poland but since preparations had been made ahead of the momentous event for Israel, the threats were neutralized by Israel's cyber defense, Hercules.

The Hercules project was launched by the Israel National Cyber Directorate (INDC) in 2017 to specifically counter cyber threats to aviation such as airports, control towers, airspace control, airlines and airplane maintenance.

On January 5, the United States Issued an alert warning of potential Iranian cyberattacks. A bulletin of the National Terrorism Advisory System dated January 4 said Iran maintains a robust cyber program and can execute Cyberattacks against the United States.

On December 11 Iran's Communications Minister admitted a "massive state-sponsored cyber-attack" aimed at the Iranian government’s cyber-infrastructure and websites but did not name the state behind the attack. A few days later he said a second cyber-attack had been launched, this time "aimed at spying on government intelligence" but said both attacks had been defused.

Iranian officials have yet not reacted to the report.