Several water monitors – which oversee irrigation systems and wastewater treatment systems – were not operational this past Sunday after a cyber attack targeted the systems.

Specifically, water controllers for irrigating fields in Israel’s Jordan Valley suffered damage along with control systems for the Galil Sewage Corporation.

Workers for the two systems worked throughout the day to get the systems back up and running. The source of the cyberattack, however, is unknown, according to a report in the Jerusalem Post.

Farmers in the region were warned several days prior about suspicions over a planned cyber attack, according to the report. Some of them, as a result of the warning, disconnected the remote control option for their irrigation systems and switched them to manual operation, instead, to prevent any harm from the attack. Indeed, those who left their systems on remote control were the ones impacted by the attack.

The National Cyber Organization warned the previous week about the increase in attempts at cyber attacks by anti-Israeli hackers throughout the month of Ramadan. Indeed, Israeli media agencies, medical websites, government websites and university websites all faced massive cyber attacks throughout the past week, including throughout the Passover holiday.

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These attacks are part of what is known as OPIsrael, an annual event among anti-Israel hackers that takes place every April with the goal of harming critical infrastructure to Israel.

“When these systems are hacked, the potential for damage is very great,” Niv Yona, research department manager at cyber defense company Cyberizen said in the report. “In this case, we are seeing an attack on thousands of water monitors in the Hula Valley region which has a direct impact on the physical dimension and, beyond creating mere fear and panic, directly impacts agricultural areas.”

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