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Tainted E-mail Hacked Military System in Israel

An Israeli cyber-security company said on Sunday (January 26, 2014) that cybercriminals broke into a system of Defense Ministry via an email attachment maligned with malware which looked as if it had been sent by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency).

Aviv Raff, Chief Technology Officer of Seculert, said that the cybercriminals provisionally took over 15 computers this month and one of them belongs to Israel's civil administration which monitors Palestinians in Israeli-occupied region. The email attachment appeared like it had been sent by Shin Bet which is clandestine service agency of the country (Israel).

One of the compromised machines was being employed to monitor movements of Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied region and the security firm suggested that Palestinians might be accountable for the attack.

Raff said that the current assault resembled an attack which occurred about a year ago when criminals from Hamas-controlled Gaza province attacked Israeli machines.

The experts discovered similarities in the current assault in writing and composition in spite of it being conducted from American soil.

However, there was no immediate Palestinian comment on the report.

Securlet has disclosed that the criminals used Xtreme RAT software to taint the computer and this remote access Trojan (RAT) horse gives criminals absolute control over the infested machines permitting them to embezzle information and load further malware or malicious software to the network through the machine or use it like a beachhead to explore and try to access deeper into the network.

Aviv Raff said:"We only know that at least one computer at Civil Administration was controlled by the attackers but we don't know what they did."

Securlet managed to recognize the tainted computers by tricking Xtreme RAT software to communicate with the servers of the company.

The other 14 systems targeted in the assault were not acknowledged and according to some sources, those might belong to enterprises involved in supplying infrastructure to Israeli defense.

Hacking has surged in Middle East during last 3 years as both governments and hacktivist groups have beleaguered military, other state agencies, critical infrastructure and businesses in addition to dissidents and cybercriminal groups to gain data about their actions and disrupt them.

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