newsIsrael at War

Israeli Defense Ministry computers hacked

Security sources did not specify whether the data breach included sensitive information.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant meeting with IDF officials during a tour of the northern border, Nov. 15, 2023. Photo by Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry.
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant meeting with IDF officials during a tour of the northern border, Nov. 15, 2023. Photo by Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry.

Israeli security sources confirmed on Tuesday that there has been a breach into the Defense Ministry’s computers. The officials refused to elaborate further and the ministry declined to comment.

A hacker group claimed a few days ago that it breached the computers of the Defense Ministry and managed to obtain sensitive information.

The data has been published in various Telegram groups.

The attacking group posted on Telegram that it succeeded in stealing data from the Defense Ministry’s computer systems and released a video purportedly showing how it managed to hack into various Defense Ministry systems and access the information contained within.

Among other things, the terrorists published several documents allegedly belonging to the Defense Ministry’s communications and orders, offering the full data for sale on various forums in exchange for 50 bitcoins, equivalent to 12.5 million shekels ($3.37 million).

Elsewhere, it was claimed that the terrorists stole extensive data but would not sell it unless Israel agreed to release 500 terrorist prisoners.

The Israeli security establishment refused to comment on the matter, but security sources did confirm that a breach of the ministry’s systems occurred, without specifying whether the stolen data was indeed sensitive.

On Friday, hackers breached the systems of the Justice Ministry, with estimates suggesting the attackers managed to obtain hundreds of gigabytes of data, including information about Justice Ministry employees and official documents. Although the Justice Ministry denied an attack occurred, sources familiar with the matter said that currently, around 100 gigabytes of sensitive data that appears to have come from the ministry are circulating online.

Although the Defense Ministry refused to comment on its breach, it can be assumed that an extensive investigation is underway by the relevant authorities in the wake of the intrusion into the ministry’s computers. The goal is likely damage control as well as identifying and understanding what information was stolen from the systems and how much damage it could cause to Israel’s security.

Addressing the reported cyberattack on its systems, the Defense Ministry issued the following statement: “The incident is known to the Defense Ministry. Authorized personnel from the Security Department, in cooperation with the director of security of the defense establishment, are investigating the event. This involved publicly accessible websites. There is no risk to classified infrastructure and systems.”

Originally published by Israel Hayom.

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