April 18, 2015

'Arab #hackers believed to have breached Israeli military networks' @JPost

The affair shows how the Middle East continues to be a hotbed for cyber espionage.

Cyber hackers [illustrative]. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Hackers have managed to penetrate computer networks associated with the
Israeli military in an espionage campaign that skillfully packages
existing attack software with trick emails, according to private
security researchers.

The four-month-old effort, most likely by
Arabic-speaking programmers, shows how the Middle East continues to be a
hotbed for cyber espionage and how widely the ability to carry off such
an attack has spread, the researchers said.

Waylon Grange, a
researcher with security firm Blue Coat Systems Inc who discovered the
campaign, said the vast majority of the software was cobbled together
from widely available tools, such as the remote-access Trojan called
Poison Ivy.

The hackers were likely working on a budget and had no
need to spend much on tailored code, Grange said, adding that most of
their work appears to have gone into so-called social engineering, or
human trickery.

The hackers sent emails to various military
addresses that purported to show breaking military news, or, in some
cases, a clip featuring "Girls of the Israel Defense Forces." Some of
the emails included attachments that established "back doors" for future
access by the hackers and modules that could download and run
additional programs, according to Blue Coat.

Using standard
obfuscation techniques, the software was able to avoid detection by most
antivirus engines, Blue Coat said. At least some software lodged inside
government computers, because Blue Coat detected it "beaconing," or
sending signals to the hackers that it was in place.

Read the rest of the story online here:  'Arab hackers believed to have breached Israeli military networks' - Arab-Israeli Conflict - Jerusalem Post

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