Pro-Iran Hackers Target Water Facility For Using Israeli Equipment

Thursday, 12/14/2023

Iran-linked hackers targeted a water facility in the rural area of County Mayo in Ireland, leaving the residents without water for two days earlier this month, Recorded Future News reported.

“The attack saw outages for approximately 160 households over two days, and was as a result of the exploitation of a vulnerability in a particular type of programmable logic controller,” said a spokesperson for Ireland’s Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC).

The attack was carried out by pro-Iran Cyber Av3ngers group which wrote a message on the infected computer system and claimed that the facility was targeted because it used Unitronics Vision Series programmable logic controllers (PLCs), an Israeli-made piece of equipment.

According to the report, the Irish government has notified other Unitronics owners all over the country in an attempt to avert possible future attacks.

“This exploitation was carried out on a global basis, and there is no suggestion that services in Ireland were specifically targeted,” DECC spokesperson went on to say.

Earlier in December, US and Israeli cybersecurity officials warned that IRGC-affiliated Cyber Av3ngers has launched a malicious campaign to target Israeli-made PLCs.

Earlier in November, Microsoft’s Threat Analysis Center reported that the Islamic Republic has intensified its cyberattacks and influence operations since 2020, targeting Israel and Bahrain, for instance. 

Iran, Russia, and China are likely to plan to influence the upcoming elections in the United States and other countries in 2024, Microsoft added.

In July, Claudia Plattner, the head of the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), warned of a growing threat from Iranian, Russian and Chinese cyber-attacks. “The goals are espionage, destabilization and influence,” Plattner said.

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