Defense Ministry Computers Breached by Hackers

By Aryeh Stern

(REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo)

Confirmation has emerged regarding a recent cyberattack on the Defense Ministry’s computer systems. Security sources disclosed to Yisrael Hayom on Tuesday that indeed, there had been unauthorized access to the ministry’s computers. However, officials declined to provide further details, and the Defense Ministry refrained from commenting on the matter.

The breach was claimed by a hacker group, which asserted a successful infiltration of the Defense Ministry’s systems. They even released a video purportedly demonstrating the methods used to access sensitive information. Among the data allegedly stolen are documents related to the ministry’s communications and orders, now being offered for sale in various online forums for 50 bitcoins, approximately NIS 12.5 million.

Reports also suggest that the hackers obtained extensive data but are withholding it unless certain conditions, such as the release of 500 security prisoners, are met. While Israeli security authorities have refrained from addressing these claims directly, they have confirmed the breach of the ministry’s systems to Yisrael Hayom, though without specifying the nature of the compromised data.

In a separate incident, the Justice Ministry also fell victim to hackers last Friday, with an estimated haul of hundreds of gigabytes of data, including employee information and official documents. Despite the Justice Ministry’s denial of an attack, sources familiar with the matter have confirmed to Yisrael Hayom the circulation of approximately 100 gigabytes of sensitive data believed to have originated from the ministry.

Although the Defense Ministry has chosen not to comment extensively on the breach, it can be assumed that a thorough investigation is underway to assess the extent of the damage. The focus likely includes damage control and determining the nature and potential repercussions of the stolen information on Israel’s security.

In response to inquiries about the cyberattack, the Defense Ministry issued a statement acknowledging the incident and indicating that the Security Department, in collaboration with the director of security of the Defense Establishment, is conducting an investigation. The ministry emphasized that the incident involved publicly accessible websites and assured that there is no risk to classified infrastructure and systems.

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