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Iranian Hackers Launch Cyber-Attacks on Israeli Nuclear Scientists, Defense Officials

avatar by David Daoud

IRGC-affiliated hackers launched cyber attacks against a number of important Israeli officials. PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons.

IRGC-affiliated hackers launched cyber attacks against a number of important Israeli officials. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

A group of hackers linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) launched cyber-attacks against a Israeli defense personnel, including nuclear physicists, the Israeli news site nrg reported on Thursday.

The attacks were discovered by Israeli software company Check Point, which conducted investigations into some 1,600 victims of hacking by the IRGC-affiliated group, known as “Rocket Kitten.”

One Rocket Kitten member, with the username “merah,” was responsible for 147 cyber attacks against Israeli targets, succeeding in reaching the computers of nuclear scientists and physicists, former army officers and national security and foreign policy researchers, and managing to obtain confidential and classified information from a large number of them.

According to nrg, merah is fluent in Hebrew, which helps to explain the high success rate of his “phishing” attacks.

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The investigations also revealed that Rocket Kitten’s victims are not only in Israel, but throughout the Middle East, Europe and the United States.

Saudi targets were especially popular, with cyber attacks launched against the kingdom’s private and public sectors, including media, academia, the military and the royal family.

Similar sources were targeted in Afghanistan, Turkey, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Kuwait and Yemen — and in NATO.

In the European Union, the hackers targeted many people associated with national security and foreign policy, as well as Iranian affairs scholars.

The investigation showed that Rocket Kitten’s phishing attacks had a 26% rate of success, which is considered high, according to nrg.

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