Beirut airport cyberattack: Anti-Hezbollah message displayed on screens

Lebanon’s main airport has come under a cyberattack with terminal screens hacked to display anti-Hezbollah messages as the militant group continues to clash with Israel.

Footage shared on social media show information display screens at Beirut international airport replaced with messages on Sunday, with media reporting the sign urged Iran-backed Hezbollah not to “drag the country into war”.

Hezbollah has exchanged near-daily cross-border fire with its arch foe Israel since war with Hamas broke out on October 7, with the Lebanese movement saying it was acting in support of its Palestinian ally in Gaza.

According to media, one message read: “You’re going to blow up our airport by bringing in weapons. Let the airport be freed from the grip of the (Hezbollah) statelet,” AFP reports.

The message also said the airport was “not the airport of Hezbollah and Iran”, according to the reports.

“Hassan Nasrallah, no one will support you if you drag the country into war,” it added, addressing the group’s leader, also saying “we will not fight on behalf of anyone.”

Lebanon’s National News Agency said “the cyberattack on the departure and arrival screens at the airport disrupted the BHS baggage inspection system.”

It added that authorities were working to restore the screens “and to maintain normal movement at the airport”.

Local media circulated images of the message criticising Hezbollah, displayed on-screen alongside the emblem of the Christian “Soldiers of God” group.

The group has declined to comment when contacted by AFP.

It later released a video statement appearing to deny involvement in the cyberattack, describing it as “the work of the devil”.

The “Soldiers of God” group is mostly known in Lebanon for its hard line stances and attacks against the country’s LGBTQ community.

On Saturday, Hezbollah said it fired more than 60 rockets at an Israeli military base in response to the strike that killed Hamas’s number two, Saleh al-Aruri.

Hezbollah is the only Lebanese group to have held on to its weapons arsenal after the end of the country’s 1975-1990 civil war.

On Saturday, the European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell met a Hezbollah political official in Beirut, as part of a push to avoid Lebanon being dragged into the Israel-Hamas war, an EU source said.

Nearly three months of cross-border fire have killed more than 180 people in Lebanon, including 135 Hezbollah fighters, but also more than 20 civilians including three journalists, according to an AFP tally.

In northern Israel, nine soldiers and at least four civilians have been killed, according to Israeli authorities.

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