HomeMalware & ThreatsHackers allege to have infiltrated computer network of Israeli nuclear facility

Hackers allege to have infiltrated computer network of Israeli nuclear facility

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An Iran-linked hacking group has declared that they successfully breached the computer network of a sensitive Israeli nuclear facility, the Shimon Peres Negev Nuclear Research Center. This incident, claimed by the hackers as a protest against the war in Gaza, saw the hackers stealing and publishing thousands of documents, including PDFs, emails, and PowerPoint slides from the nuclear installation.

The hackers, known as ‘Anonymous’, have historically targeted this facility due to its connection to Israel’s nuclear weapons program. In a social media message explaining their intentions, the group stated that their operation was carried out in a manner that ensured no harm to civilians. However, in another social media post, the group also warned of the risks associated with their actions, including the possibility of a nuclear explosion.

Despite the hackers’ claims of breaching the facility’s IT network, there is no evidence to suggest that they have accessed its operational technology (OT) network. Nuclear facilities are equipped with failsafe systems to prevent dangerous incidents, even in the event of a breach.

The Israeli embassy in London has not responded to inquiries regarding the incident. Gil Messing, chief of staff at Israeli cybersecurity company Checkpoint, noted that the Anonymous group has been active on social media platforms since the outbreak of the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. Messing suggested that these hackers may be affiliated with Iranian groups, as their attacks are reminiscent of tactics used by Iranian state-backed hackers.

Iran, a supporter of Hamas, has not commented on the hacking incident. Messing highlighted that cyberattacks against Israel and its allies have been relentless since the conflict began, with threat actors conducting extensive data dumps, breaching government computer systems, hacking security cameras, spreading disinformation, and targeting industrial control systems.

Checkpoint has analyzed the documents released by the hackers and concluded that while they may not contain highly sensitive information, they could be used in future attacks such as phishing attempts. Messing emphasized that there is no evidence to suggest that the hackers have gained control over the operational systems of the nuclear facility.

Overall, the hacking incident at the Israeli nuclear facility highlights the ongoing cyber threats faced by the country and its allies. The sophistication and persistence of these cyberattacks underscore the importance of robust cybersecurity measures to safeguard critical infrastructure and sensitive information.

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