Israeli irrigation systems hit by cyber attack

A cyber attack that targeted irrigation systems in Israel, causing trouble for some farms in the Jordan Valley, is thought to be part of an annual “hacktivist” campaign that takes place every April. The hackers targeted both farms and wastewater treatment plants. About a dozen farms failed to heed a National Cyber Directorate warning to disable certain remote connections ahead of the hacking campaign and temporarily had automated irrigation systems disabled.

The cyber attack is part of an annual campaign called “OpIsrael,” which strikes in April with DDoS attacks and breach attempts on targets in the country. The campaign began in 2013 and was organized by hackers associated under the banner of Anonymous. It has not been tied to any particular group or country but has expressed pro-Palestinian sentiment from the beginning.

Not all farms in the Jordan Valley heeded the call to temporarily disable remote connections and had their automated irrigation systems disabled for a time, forcing them to switch to manual irrigation. Some security researchers believe that the farms that were hit were using default passwords, making it trivial for the attackers to walk in.


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