Iranian Hackers Target Israeli Defense Company

December 21, 2020

by: Ilse Strauss

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The hacker group Pay2Key claimed that it successfully hacked a range of Israeli defense industry companies (illustrative).

Monday, 21 December 2020 | Pay2Key, a hacking group with ties to Tehran, boasted yesterday that it successfully infiltrated the servers of a number of role-players in the Israeli defense industry, including Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), the Jewish state’s largest air defense corporation.

Pay2Key, an alleged offshoot of an Iranian hacking cooperative called Fox Kitten, took to Twitter to flaunt its latest feat, cryptically writing, “Knock Knock! Tonight is longer than longest night for @ILAerospaceIAI.”

The hacker group has since posted hundreds of employee data files belonging to the IAI subsidiary Elta Systems on the dark web, the sinister part of the internet that is not visible using search engines and requires specialized software to access.

According to Pay2Key, the most “interesting part” of the information stored on Elta System’s servers would be company files, including classified details relating to sensitive projects and research.

“Do I have possession of them?” the hackers taunted. “Who knows?”

The IAI said it was looking into the matter.

IAI is Israel’s foremost aerospace and aviation manufacturer, producing aircraft, missiles as well as aeronautical and astroneutical technology for both civilian and military use.

The alleged hack marks the latest skirmish in the shadowy cyberwar between Israel and Iran, which saw a significant uptick in activity over the past two months. According to Israeli–American cyber security firm Check Point Software Technologies, 137 Israeli companies were cyberattacked in October, with the number climbing to 141 in November. The sudden spike has many wondering whether this forms part of Tehran’s revenge for the assassination of the “father” of the Iranian bomb, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, which the mullahs blame on Israel.

ClearSky, an Israeli cyber security firm, published a report on Pay2Key three days before the hacker group targeted the IAI. “We estimate that this campaign is part of the ongoing cyber confrontation between Israel and Iran, with the most recent wave of attacks causing significant damage to some of the affected companies,” the report said.

“We estimate with a medium level of confidence that this campaign (Pay2Key) is part of Iran information warfare aimed to create panic to Israel and in other countries world-wide.”

Posted on December 21, 2020

Source: (Bridges for Peace, December 21, 2020)

Photo Credit: TheDigitalArtist/

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