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svgadminsvgNovember 22, 2011svgNews

Israeli Strike on Iran will ‘Jam, Blind, Deafen’ Defenses

An Israeli attack on nuclear sites in Iran would go beyond air strikes from fighter planes and likely include electronic warfare against Iran’s electric grid, Internet, cellphone network, and emergency frequencies for fire and police services, according to a report by Eli Lake, a correspondent for Newsweek and the Daily Beast.

For much of the last decade, writes Lake, “Israel has been assembling a multibillion-dollar array of high-tech weapons that would allow it to jam, blind, and deafen Tehran’s defenses in the case of a pre-emptive aerial strike.”

U.S. intelligence officials are reported as saying that Israel has developed a weapon capable of mimicking a maintenance cellphone signal that commands a cell network to “sleep,” effectively stopping transmissions. The Israelis “also have jammers capable of creating interference within Iran’s emergency frequencies for first responders,” they said.

In the 2007 attack on a suspected nuclear site in Syria, Israeli planes “spoofed” the enemy’s air-defense radars, “at first making it appear that no jets were in the sky and then in an instant making the radar believe the sky was filled with hundreds of planes,” Lake writes.

Israel also likely would exploit a in Iran’s big-city electric grids, which are not “air-gapped”—meaning they are connected to the Internet and therefore vulnerable to a Stuxnet-style cyberattack—officials reportedly said.

The likely delivery method for the electronic warfare mechanisms would be an unmanned aerial vehicle the size of a jumbo jet known as the Eitan. The Daily Beast quotes U.S. and Israeli officials as saying that one version of the drone can fly up to 45 straight hours.

It is not clear why U.S. officials would want to leak any of this information – unless they were bluffing, or trying to derail Israeli plans for a strike.

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