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Iran and Russia Form New Cyber Alliance: A New Threat to Israel and the World?

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On Friday, a group calling themselves “Anonymous Sudan” claimed responsibility for a cyber attack on Israeli banks, telecom firms, and other entities. The attack resulted in minor service disruptions, and experts suggest the group have ties to Russia and potentially involve Iran. If true, this would mark a significant development in the ongoing cyber-war between Israel and Iran.

Cyber warfare between Iran and Israel has been escalating for the last six years, as Israel seeks to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and advanced missile capabilities. Israeli cyberattacks damaged Iranian installations and disrupted their infrastructure, with the Stuxnet virus in 2010 being the most well-known instance. Iran attacked Israeli water facilities in 2020 and built up its own cyber capabilities in response.

So far, cyberattacks between Iran and Israel mainly involve psychological warfare. These attacks aim to influence public opinion or incite protests. Such attacks have usually not caused irreversible damage or resulted in civilian casualties. Iranian attacks on soft targets in Israel have included rocket alert sirens, breached security cameras, LGBTQ websites, and insurance companies.

Iran and Russia Join Forces

While Iran may not have needed Russian help in carrying out last week’s attack, coordinated cyber efforts between the two countries could send a strong message to Israel. Experts have linked Anonymous Sudan to a Russian hacker group named Killnet. This group has carried out Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks in European countries supporting Ukraine. Reportedly, Moscow is providing Tehran with cyber expertise and digital surveillance capabilities. The aim is to strengthen its position in the region and transform former rivals into partners.

Iran’s increased involvement in coordinating anti-Israeli activity among terror groups in Gaza, Lebanon, and Syria, combined with intensified cyber cooperation with Russia, poses a threat to Israel, the United States, and their allies. While Israel has lobbied Russia to limit its cooperation with Iran in the past, the situation remains unpredictable.

As cyber warfare between Iran and Israel continues, it is important for all parties involved to be prepared for potential attacks that could cause real trouble. The war may be fought in cyberspace, but its impact on the ground is real and can be significant. The ongoing conflict underscores the need for stronger cybersecurity measures and international cooperation to prevent cyber attacks that could destabilize the region and threaten global security.

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