Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/05/31/syrian_water_plant_hack_foiled/

'Syrian Electronic Army' fails to crack Israeli water system

Pro-Assad hacktivists foiled, says former cyber security chief

By John Leyden

Posted in Security, 31st May 2013 16:04 GMT

Attempts purportedly made by pro-Assad hacktivists to attack water systems in northern Israel have failed, recent reports reveal.

The Syrian Electronic Army have more or less cornered the market in attacks on high-profile media accounts on Twitter over recent months with attacks on the BBC, The Guardian, AP and others. Two victims - The Telegraph and The Onion - both reported that the attacks on their websites had been carried out using a multi-stage phishing attacks.

Twitter's introduction of two-factor authentication, although flawed when it comes to shared group accounts, is a step in the right direction towards making such assaults more difficult.

In any case, the Syrian Electronic Army, at least according to Israeli security experts, have turned their attention to a far more difficult target: computers controlling the water system of the city of Haifa.

The attack was apparently launched around two weeks ago but failed, according to Yitzhak Ben Yisrael, Israel's former cyber security adviser, AP reports. Yisrael made the comments during a recent lecture in the southern city of Beersheba.

The hack comes after Israeli airstrikes, allegedly against an arms convoy carrying missiles bound for Shiite Hezbollah militants, were launched on Syrian land at the beginning of the month. Hezbollah are long-time foes of Israel and allies of President Bashar al-Assad's Syrian regime.

A previous run of attacks by hacktivist group Anonymous against Israeli websites in April also failed to cause any noticeable disruption. ®