On May 9, shipping traffic at Iran’s bustling Shahid Rajaee port terminal came to an abrupt and inexplicable halt. Computers that regulate the flow of vessels, trucks and goods all crashed at once, creating massive backups on waterways and roads leading to the facility.
After waiting a day, Iranian officials acknowledged that an unknown foreign hacker had briefly knocked the port’s computers offline. Now, more than a week later, a more complete explanation has come to light: The port was the victim of a substantial cyberattack that U.S. and foreign government officials say appears to have originated with Iran’s archenemy, Israel.
The attack, which snarled traffic around the port for days, was carried out by Israeli operatives, presumably in retaliation for an earlier attempt to penetrate computers that operate rural water distribution systems in Israel, according to intelligence and cybersecurity officials familiar with the matter.