A cyber-hacker working for Iran hacked the computer of a former IDF chief-of-staff, an Israeli television report said Tuesday, and gained access to the unnamed army chief’s entire computer database.
The hacker was named by Channel 10 as Yaser Balaghi. He was said to have subsequently bragged about the hack, but he also inadvertently left behind a means to trace his identity. That error prompted Iran to halt the hacking operation, which targeted 1,800 people worldwide, including Israeli army generals, human rights activists in the Persian Gulf and scientists.
The Times of Israel reported on the Iranian hacking operation two weeks ago, after an Israeli cyber-security firm, Check Point, revealed its existence. Tuesday’s Channel 10 report also cited information from Check Point.
Gil Shwed, CEO of Check Point Software Technologies, told Israel Radio in late January that the attack began two months earlier and that its targets received email messages aimed at sending spyware into their computers.
More than a quarter of the recipients opened the emails and thus unknowingly downloaded spyware, allowing the hackers to steal information from their hard drives.
Over the last two years, Israel has been targeted by a number of cyber-attacks. Officials say hackers affiliated with Hezbollah and the Iranian government were behind some of the infiltration attempts.
Also in late January, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz revealed that Israel’s Electric Authority was being targeted by a “severe cyber-attack,” although he did not say where it was coming from.
In June, the Israeli ClearSky cyber-security company said it had discovered an ongoing wave of cyber attacks originating from Iran on targets in Israel and the Middle East, with Israeli generals again among the targets. The goal is “espionage or other nation-state interests,” the firm said.
Read the complete article at: Times of Israel