Israeli cybersec startup Seculert reports that over the past month some 15 Israeli Defence Ministry computers were hacked by Palestinian cyber terrorist groups
According to findings from Israeli cyber security startup Seculert, over the last month several computers belonging to employees of the Israeli Defense Ministry fell victim to hacking attacks by a group of Palestinian cyber terrorists.
These latest attacks included the penetration of over 15 computers of Israeli Defense Ministry employees, one of which belongs to the Civil Administration, which is responsible for monitoring Palestinians in Israel. Aviv Raff, CTO at Seculert, would not reveal the identities of employees whose computers were compromised but apparently they were related to supply and support of Israel’s security infrastructure.
According to the findings of the Company, the attacks began on January 15 and came in the form of a Trojan Horse email. The email claimed to be sent from the Israel Security Agency (ISA – the equivalent of the United States’ FBI) stating that it held an attachment relating to the recently deceased former Prime Minister of Israel, Ariel Sharon. In reality the email contained a Trojan Horse known as Xtreme RAT.
Trojan infected computers can be controlled remotely enabling outside parties unfettered access to whatever information is stored on the infected machine. Furthermore, whatever networks that machine is connected to can serve as a bridge for the hackers to break into other machines on the same network.
While this attack was carried out by servers located in the United States, Seculert told Reuters that they had managed to find some striking similarities with previous attacks carried out last year from servers in Palestinian controlled Gaza, abandoned by an Ariel Sharon led Israeli government in 2005.
Although Seculert has been able to identify the hack and the infected computers, as of this writing they are still unable to identify the informational target of the hack and its overall intended purpose, if there ever was any. Given that that the attack occurred two weeks ago and the findings were only discovered over the past weekend, we can assume that the hackers have had access to information for a relatively long period of time. Guy Inbar, spokesman for the Civil Administration refused comment.
Along the backdrop of this recent attack is the CyberTech 2014 conference taking place in Jerusalem and sponsored by the National Cyber Bureau and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). No doubt it will be interesting to see how Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu along with Chief of Staff for the National Cyber Bureau Evyatar Matania PhD, will refer to the present case and how they will propose working to try and ensure that this sort of security laps does not happen again in the future.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock/ Hand typing on computer