Critical Infrastructure Security , Cyberwarfare / Nation-State Attacks , Fraud Management & Cybercrime

Iran Launches Wave of Retaliatory Strikes at Israel

Reports: 100s of Drones and Missiles Shot Down; Cyber Group Makes Threats
Iran Launches Wave of Retaliatory Strikes at Israel

Israel Defense Forces reported the launch of rockets by Iran from Lebanon into Israel on Saturday. Hezbollah militants claimed responsibility, citing retaliation for recent Israeli actions and solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, according to reports.

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Reuters quoted Israel's military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari as saying Iran launched dozens of ground-to-ground missiles toward Israel, and the majority were intercepted before reaching Israeli territory. Among them were over 10 cruise missiles.

The Iranian assault included more than 300 drones and missiles, resulting in minor damage to a single Israeli military facility. Iran said the strikes were in retaliation for an April 1 strike by Israel that destroyed an Iranian consulate building in the capital, Damascus.

Amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in the early hours of Sunday, Handala, an Iranian cyber group, claimed to have successfully breached Israel's radar systems and distributed thousands of menacing text messages to Israeli civilians.

The group claims to have infiltrated Israeli air defense systems, dispatching 500,000 texts with a stark ultimatum: "You have only a few hours to rectify the systems."

The conflict, intensifying since the onset of the Hamas-Israel war last October, underscores the volatile situation along Lebanon's southern border. Israeli communities near the border have been ordered to evacuate as both sides exchange fire, further heightening regional instability.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Handala released a statement across social media platforms, affirming its infiltration of Israel's radar defenses. Disseminated through Telegram, the announcement provides few specifics, but it underscores the incident's substantial impact, posing a potential threat to Israel's national security.

"You have only a few hours to mend the radar systems," the assailants said in their communication. The hacking group urged Israeli citizens to oppose their government and support Iran.

An X user named Pro-Palestine Hackers Movement tweeted, "Handala Hacked 99 digital and send last messages to Zionists! This was a clear message to 8200 not to test our patience with their shell groups! An eye for an eye! +500K alert messages sent to Zionists. 5.2 TB of data from sensitive conversations of organizations were dumped!"

"People will pay for the crimes and foolishness of your leaders. There is no doubt that your leaders will regret these foolish ventures. Evacuate the cities; perhaps you will see less damage!" The Jerusalem Post quoted the Handala message.

"Do not hesitate and do not sleep; the chance to escape is less than ten seconds, and perhaps your city will be chosen," the message said.

US Intercepts Explosive Drones

CNN reported that two U.S. officials familiar with the matter said the American forces intercepted over 70 one-way attack drones and at least three ballistic missiles during Iran's assault on Israel.

One of the officials stated that warships stationed in the eastern Mediterranean Sea successfully intercepted the ballistic missiles. A senior administration official revealed that Iran launched over 100 ballistic missiles in total toward Israel, according to CNN.

The U.S. Navy currently deploys two destroyers in the region, both equipped to intercept missile and drone launches. U.S. fighter jets were engaged in the response, downing drones aimed at Israel during the attack on Saturday, as confirmed by another U.S. official to CNN.

U.S. President Joe Biden condemned the unprecedented air attack against military facilities in Israel.

He also confirmed that to support the defense of Israel, the U.S. military moved aircraft and ballistic missile defense destroyers to the region over the course of the past week.

Biden said that these deployments helped Israel take down nearly all of the incoming drones and missiles. The president also spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to reaffirm America's "ironclad commitment to the security of Israel."

"Tomorrow, I will convene my fellow G7 leaders to coordinate a united diplomatic response to Iran's brazen attack. My team will engage with their counterparts across the region. And we will stay in close touch with Israel's leaders," Biden said in a statement.

United Nation Secretary-General António Guterres condemned the escalation in hostilities following a large-scale attack launched by the Islamic Republic of Iran on Israel.

Urging an immediate cessation of these actions, he expressed deep concern over the looming threat of a widespread regional escalation.

Guterres appealed to all parties involved to exercise utmost restraint to prevent the possibility of major military confrontations across multiple fronts in the Middle East.

He emphasized the critical importance of avoiding another devastating war, both for the region and the global community.

Information Security Media Group, which has offices in Israel, has covered the global impact of the Israel/Hamas war since the outset last Oct. 7, including exclusive interviews with Israel cybersecurity business leaders such as Ami Daniel, CEO of Windward, and ISMG's own Sharon Israel, CEO of Xtra-Mile.

About the Author

Prajeet Nair

Prajeet Nair

Assistant Editor, Global News Desk, ISMG

Nair previously worked at TechCircle, IDG, Times Group and other publications, where he reported on developments in enterprise technology, digital transformation and other issues.

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