Iranian hackers target Israeli defence firm in bid for ransom
The Israeli cyber security company Checkpoint System stated that the hacks were traced back to a Bitcoin exchanged in Tehran, PA
A new Iranian computer hacking group has targeted defense companies in Israel in order to expose weaknesses and obtain ransom money.
The group known as "Pay2Key" said it had carried out dozens of cyber attacks on high-profile targets since last month, including two in the last week.
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The most recent attack on Thursday was against Portnox, an Israeli cyber security company whose clients include electronics company Elbit Systems, which makes defense systems for military aircraft, vehicles and drones.
On Sunday the same hackers said they had successfully compromised a number of Israeli defense industry companies, including Israel Aerospace Industries.
According to analysts, Pay2Key uses ransomware attacks to steal data and threatens to lose it if the targets don't work together or pay up to £ 100,000 in Bitcoin, the electronic currency.
Checkpoint Systems, an Israeli cyber security firm, said it traced some of the transactions back to a Bitcoin exchange in Iran, but it was not clear whether the Iranian government was behind the attacks.
Iranian hackers were previously blamed for cyber attacks at the "state level" against Israel, American banks, and in 2017 on UK Parliament email accounts, including those of cabinet ministers.
Among the 3 gigabytes of data released after the last hack was a 15-page report showing security flaws in Elbit Systems. However, the report only extends until 2018, which may mean that most of the weaknesses uncovered are no longer relevant.
"Over a terabyte of documents, projects, coding files and others have been extracted from the company's servers," the group wrote on its website on the "Dark Web," an unregulated part of the Internet.
Portnox said they were investigating after "reports indicated a hack into the company's internal servers by a hacking group that identified as Pay2Key.
"The company has launched a full investigation to get a full picture of the incident," it said in a statement.
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