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Israel blames Iran for cyber attack on top Israeli university

A campus view of the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, in the northern city of Haifa, Feb. 19, 2019. (Photo: Hadas Parush/Flash90)

After investigations into a cyberattack that took place last month against the Technion Institute of Technology in Haifa, has pinned the blame on an organization connected to Iranian intelligence.

While the hackers perpetrated the attack under the name “DarkBit,” the Tuesday announcement reported the attack could be traced back to a group called MuddyWater, which the Israel National Cyber Directorate (INCD) said is “affiliated with Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security.”

The cyberattack on Feb. 11 caused the Technion to disconnect its computer systems to prevent further security damages. Despite measures taken by the school to mitigate harm, the school said that “all systems are not accessible, and we have lost our data.”

According to i24 News, the hackers threatened to sell the hacked data should the school refuse to comply with their demands: "A ransom of 80 bitcoins from Technion, which is equivalent to $1,747,971.”

In addition, political statements were mad in the email following the attack.

"Keep calm, take a breath and think about an apartheid regime that causes troubles here and there. They should pay for their lies and crimes, their names and shames…They should pay for occupation, war crimes against humanity, killing the people (not only Palestinians’ bodies, but also Israelis’ souls) and destroying the future and all dreams we had.”

Following the attack last month, the INCD said premier educational institutions have been the subject of many similar cyberattacks

“The field of higher education has been a central target for cyber attackers, with the INCD identifying 53 [serious] incidents of such attacks in 2022, most of which were prevented.”

Such attacks reflect the larger, ongoing conflict between Israel and Iran, in which cyber warfare continues to plays a significant role.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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