Tel Aviv Municipality Website Targeted in Iraqi Cyberattack

The website of the Tel Aviv Municipality was the latest target of hackers operating out of Iraq, who managed to infiltrate it and take it down. It comes just a week after a similar attack had been carried out by Iraqi hackers on NTA Metropolitan Mass Transit System Ltd. in Israel. The company is responsible for the design and construction of what is referred to as the Tel Aviv Metro. This is the mass transit system that has been developed for the coastal city.

Iraqi channel reports the hack

A Telegram news channel called Sabereen News, which is associated with the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) in Iraq, reported the hack. According to the report, the group, which is called al-Tahera, had compromised the Tel Aviv Municipality website on Monday.

There was a message displayed on the Tel Aviv Municipality website after the hack, which stated that the website had been suspended on the orders of General Qassem Soleimani. The company that is working on the light rail network for the city of Tel Aviv, NTA Metropolitan Mass Transit System Ltd., had also disclosed last week that a foreign cyberattack had temporarily disrupted its website.

According to Sabereen News, the company’s website had been targeted by a group from the Arab country the previous Monday and it had affected the servers, control monitors and operating systems.

Previous attacks

A denial of service attack had also been carried out on the Airport Authority’s website of Israel last April. A Distributed Denial of Service Attack (DDoS) had been carried out, which involves overwhelming the services of the website with almost simultaneous connection requests.

The Iraqi al-Tahera group had launched a cyberattack that targeted a number of websites and the Airport Authority website had been one of them. According to the group, the Israeli website had been targeted as an act of revenge for the assassination of Lieutenant General Qasseim Soleimani, the leading anti-terror commander of Iran, along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who was the PMU’s deputy head and an Iraqi trenchmate.

The assassination had occurred back in 2020 at a Baghdadi airport. Even though Donald Trump, who had been the US President, had ordered the criminal act directly, but a covert role had been played by Israel. Back then, Sabereen News had reported that DDos attacks had been conducted by the group against websites of KAN news in Israel and Channel 9, which is a Russian-language channel.

Biden’s visit

In other news, the current US President Joe Biden touched down in Israel on Wednesday for a two day trip. He landed in Tel Aviv and greeted a bunch of officials with a fist bump rather than a handshake, in accordance with the precautions of the White House for keeping limited contact due to the spread of the coronavirus.

He also asserted that the ties between Israel and the United States are bone-deep and said that this visit would help strengthening them even further. He will stay for two days in Israel before leaving for Saudi Arabia.

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