Cyber Attack on Defense Ministry Computers Thwarted

August 10, 2015  

The Defense Ministry was able to thwart cyber attacks in recent weeks on its computers, Channel 2 reports Monday night. 

An infected email was sent to the Ministry of Defense, and appeared with a subject heading still currently under gag order. The email contained “malicious files” that might allow remote monitoring of another part of the open networked office computers.

The technological defense department of the Ministry successfully prevented the virus from spreading, but the email still reached individual employees in several divisions. 

Security personnel at the Ministry briefed employees after the fact of the subject and warned them against opening suspicious emails in the future.

According to testing conducted at the Defense Ministry, the malicious file allows remote file access and keystroke recording, as well as for the hacker to search and transmit classified files and take screenshots.

Cyber attacks against Israel are common. In June, Israeli cybersecurity company ClearSky said it had uncovered a massive Iranian cyber attack against 40 Israeli targets and 500 other targets worldwide, including against reserve generals in the IDF, a security consulting company, and researchers.

In April, security researchers claimed that hackers had managed to penetrate computer networks associated with the IDF.

The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) revealed last year it had set up an elite cyber-defense unit to defend against an organized attack on Israeli cyberspace as well, and in September, the Israeli government set up its own National Cyber Defense unit. 

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