PS752 Downed by Cyber Attack
by Ian Greenhalgh
We now have a fairly clear picture of how Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 came to it’s tragic fate shortly after taking of from Tehran International Airport.
Ukrainian International Airlines is owned by Israeli businessman Aron Mayberg and the infamous Ukrainian-Israeli oligarch, politician and energy tycoon Igor Kolomoisky, who was notably one of the biggest financiers of the anti-Russian, pro-EU coup d’etat which overthrew the democratically elected government of Viktor Yanukovych in 2014.
Kolomoisky is also a principal backer of current Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky whose dubious phone call with Trump resulted in the 45th U.S. president’s impeachment last month.
Kolomoisky, AKA “the Chameleon”, is one of the wealthiest people in the ex-Soviet country and was formerly appointed as governor of an administrative region bordering Donbass in eastern Ukraine following the 2014 putsch. He has also funded a battalion of volunteer neo-Nazi mercenaries fighting alongside the Ukrainian army in the War in Donbass.
As admitted by Iran, the plane was brought down by one or two missiles fired by a Tor-M1 missile complex under control of the Iranian Republican Guard Corps (IRGC).
However, this is only the beginning of the story and how the plane came to be in the sights of the IRGC missiles is the key part of the narrative.
I shall attempt to lay out that narrative in as clear and concise form as I can.
No assets inside Iran were needed, it was a purely Israeli operation.
Iranian sources have revealed that the pre-flight inspection checklist was not signed by Iranian airport engineers, however, the Ukrainian crew insisted on flying at their own risk and responsibility.
The plane experienced some technical difficulties during or immediately after the take-off – this is when the cyber attack took place and it targeted both the navigational system and the Identify Friend or Foe (IFF)- transponder. The IFF transponder was turned off and the aircraft changed course, putting it on a direct heading for the IRGC base nearby.
Now you have an airliner heading directly for an IRGC site and it’s protective missile batteries, even worse the IRGC were on high alert, expecting a US strike; so when an unidentified aircraft appeared very close to their base, they had only a matter of seconds to decide whether to engage it.
IRGC Aerospace Commander Hajizadeh’s said a huge ‘anomaly’ impaired Tehran’s air defense system, leading to the impression an enemy plane was approaching a sensitive military center – the root of the subsequent ‘human error’.
Iran claims the missiles were launched by an individual who was out of radio contact with his commander and “panicked” upon seeing the fast-moving object on radar.
The fact that the IRGC operators experienced a communication failure at the precise moment the plane appeared on their radar makes it clear that cyber attacks were also carried out against Iranian command & control systems.
With no time to delay and no way to consult senior commanders, the operators had to consider the plane heading straight towards them as a military threat and they took the decision to engage the plane and shoot it down.
There you have it, a couple of hacks was all it took. The Israelis are expert at this and have done it before – remember the Russian IL-20 shot down by Syria, the Israelis were using that plane to shield an incoming jet fighter strike.