Report: Israel Not Prepared for Iranian Cyberattack on Water Infrastructure

The Sorek desalination plant in Rishon LeTzion. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty, File)

Israel’s water infrastructure is not ready to withstand a possible cyberattack by Iranian hackers, a government report warned Wednesday.

According to the report, water companies in Israel have largely failed to step up digital defenses of their infrastructure, despite being proven vulnerable last year when hackers, believed to be Iranians, attempted to increase the amount of chlorine in the water supplied to residential areas via a facility in central Israel.

Earlier this month, a hacker tried to poison the water in Oldsmar, Florida, after hijacking access to the local water treatment system.

The malicious actor made an attempt to increase the amount of sodium hydroxide – a substance used to control the acidity level – in the system.

The change was quickly spotted by a water company worker, who made the appropriate corrections.

While the attack, which Israel blamed on Iran, did not result in any feasible damage, it still drew fury among Israeli officials as it was aimed at the civilian infrastructure.

The authorities issued an order to beef up the defenses at water infrastructure and allocated funds for this, but according to Wednesday’s report, progress on the matter has been lacking.

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