Iranian hackers ‘trolling’ Israel over Mossad chief hack

i24NEWS

3 min read
Mossad chief David Barnea (C) and leader of the opposition Benjamin Netanyahu at Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem, on January 12, 2022.
Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90Mossad chief David Barnea (C) and leader of the opposition Benjamin Netanyahu at Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem, on January 12, 2022.

The recent leaks are more an 'influence operation' rather than a real cyber offensive

A group of purported Iranian hackers took to Twitter and Telegram to taunt Israel’s Mossad chief, saying they hacked his wife’s phone and leaked the materials online. 

While Israel denied claims of the cyberattack, experts told Haaretz that the group is “trolling” the state, with one post reading: “Are you sure that the leakage is just from your wife’s ‘OLD PHONE’?”

Over the past week, the hackers published what seem to be materials lifted from a phone that belonged to the spouse of Mossad chief David Barnea. 

Barnea’s phone and personal devices were not hacked, as far as is known.

The leak, which included a pay stub from 2020 that supposedly belonged to the Mossad chief, was intended to counter Israel’s claim that the hack was on an old device.

“You’ve said that the material is not new; wait for the next episode to find out whether we are updated or not!” the hackers wrote last Thursday, Haaretz reported.

Days later, the group posted, “Mr. Bernea, they are sending your NEW documents to your wife’s OLD phone??”

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Israel believes the hack was revenge for an airstrike in Iran last month that destroyed hundreds of drones. 

Last week, considered by some as the largest-ever cyberattack carried out against Israel caused several government websites to shut down, also believed to be in revenge for the airstrike.

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Cyber experts told Haaretz that the recent leaks are more an “influence operation” rather than a real cyber offensive.

They noted that the group is likely the latest branch of a hacker group called Moses Staff, first revealed in October 2021, which works to “harm Israeli companies by leaking sensitive, stolen data.”

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