Iran backed hackers reportedly hacked 29 Israeli railway stations, had plans to create railway accidents

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Iran-backed hackers claim to have shut down 28 Israeli railway stations, claim they can collide trains

Iranian Telegram channels linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) are abuzz with the news that a group of Iranian hackers successfully deployed a series of cyberattacks against Israel’s rail infrastructure and brought 28 Israeli railway stations to a standstill.

The Iranian-state backed hacker group, Cyber Avengers, released a statement on multiple Telegram channels stating that they have managed to attack the industrial servers of the Israeli railways, compromising operations at more than 28 train and subway stations. This group is presumed to be linked to the Iran Revolutionary Guard (IRGC).

The cyber attacks on Israel are claimed to be in retaliation to the Nanantz and Parchin cyber attacks. In June, an explosion occurred in the Parchin region which resulted in large scale fire at the missile building facility. Iranian officials blamed the Parchin explosion on a gas leak but there more to the explosion than meets the eye. The second incident happened at the Natanz nuclear enrichment site which also saw similar explosions. Many reports claimed that both these incidents were cyber attacks caused by the US and Israeli hackers. However, Iran had at that time denied any cyber attacks.

The news of Cyber Avengers cyberattack was reported by the Turkish Anadolu news agency which said that “major cyber operation” was launched July 14 at 1.20 a.m. (2050GMT). Anadolu says that the Cyber Avengers launched the cyberattacks to commemorate the time of airstrikes on Iranian military commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani in early January.

Cyber Avengers published a map of Israel’s rail network, identifying the 28 stations that they claim were brought to a standstill due to the cyber attack.  Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University, and Ben Gurion are among the railway stations the Cyber Avengers claim they hacked.

Anadolu added that the cyberattacks lasted for six days and the Israeli stations were still dysfunctional owing to “severe damage to equipment and infrastructure.” The report also claims that the group can “show that we can plan the collision of tens of trains if we so wish.”

However, a report on Jerusalem Post denied any cyber attack occurring on Israeli railway infrastructure. The report says that the Anadolu report is false. “The false report came out on Friday and was published on the Turkish Anadolu News Agency. The Turkish claim – likely Iranian propaganda – came only months after previous attempts, allegedly by Iran, to decommission Israeli water treatment plants across the country,” the report says.

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