Iranian government websites hacked in cyber assault

A number of Iranian government websites were downed on Thursday, including those administered by Press TV and the Ministry of Health.

According to the Jerusalem Post, Israeli hackers belonging to a group known as “IDF Team” claimed responsibility for the digital infiltration, saying the operation was executed in retaliation for a massive assault against Israeli websites on Wednesday.

“At 16:30 Israel [time] the Iranian Ministry of Health and Medical Education website will be down until further notice,” the hackers wrote in an online communiqué. 

“In addition to Iran’s television network, broadcasting in English round-the-clock, based in Tehran that [is] called Press TV will be down until further notice. Ahmadinejad what do you have to say about that?”

It remains unclear if Iranian hackers were responsible for any of the cyber attacks against Israeli websites on Wednesday. Indeed, pro-Palestinian hackers (Anonymous Palestine) claimed responsibility for the attack against the Ha’aretz Hebrew site, which was knocked offline in a coordinated distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) assault.

Additional hacked Israeli sites included those run by the Sheba Medical Center, the Assouta medical facility, Hayom newspaper and the Israel Festival homepage.

It should be noted that “IDF Team” previously claimed responsibility for 
crashing the website administered by the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates as the financial institution hosted European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi. 

Interestingly enough, various forms of cyber warfare have been waged by civilians in the Middle East for a number of years – and can be traced back to the early days of IRC (Internet Relay Chat) when rival parties battled each other with channel takeovers, scripts, automated bots and flooding attacks.