Israel says the Iranian IRGC conducted research to damage ships, gas stations, and industrial plants in several countries including Britain, the US, France, and Israel.
Defense minister Benny Gantz said on Wednesday that an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) cyber unit called “Shahid Kaveh” was involved in the alleged project.
Britain’s Sky News reported similar allegations last year, saying the Iranian embassy in London had not responded to them.
Gantz hinted that Israel — which is widely believed to have waged cyber war against Iran’s nuclear facilities and other infrastructure — may retaliate physically against enemy hackers.
“We know who they are, we target them and those who direct them. They are in our sights as we speak – and not just in the cyber-space,” he said. “There is a variety of possible responses to cyber-attacks – in and outside of the cyber domain.”
Gantz also charged the Iranian-backed Lebanese militia Hezbollah with conducting a cyber operation designed to disrupt a UN peacekeeping mission on the border between the countries.
He said, “Iranian security institutions in cooperation with Hezbollah (recently) launched a cyber operation with the aim of stealing materials about UNIFIL activities and deployment in the area, for Hezbollah’s use”.
“This is yet another direct attack by Iran and Hezbollah on Lebanese citizens and on Lebanon’s stability,” he told a cyber conference at Tel Aviv University, without elaborating.
Established in 1978, UNIFIL patrols Lebanon’s southern border. It is charged with monitoring the ceasefire that ended the last war between Hezbollah and Israel in 2006.
The Islamic Republic of Iran’s leadership functions to preserve and export the country’s revolutionary principles. Its premiere asset in chasing this objective is the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, commonly abbreviated as IRGC. This branch of Iran’s armed forces is deeply entrenched in all aspects of Iranian society, including the country’s economic, political, and military spheres. More significantly, the Iranian IRGC uses terrorism as a tool of statecraft, and the elite Quds Force serves as the IRGC’s foreign operator.