Hacks Stole Data From Companies That Built Israel's Main Defense System

Israel currently tries to protect itself from a barrage of rocket attacks using its "Iron Dome" missile shield—but Krebs on Security reveals that hackers have stolen sensitive documents from the three Israeli defense contractors responsible for building it.

Krebs reports that hacks in 2011 and 2012 were carried out against the three top Israeli defense technology companies: Elisra Group, Israel Aerospace Industries, and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. The hackers apparently "exfiltrated large amounts of data." The hacks are said to have been performed by China now-prolific Unit 61398, which spent four months investigating and gaining access to sensitive data on the Israeli servers.

Overall, they acquired over 700 files, totaling 762 MB in size. While most of the data was specific to the infrastructure in place in Israel, some had wider relevance and were restricted by International Traffic in Arms Regulations—such as a 900-page document that provides detailed schematics and specifications for the Arrow 3 missile, which was designed by Boeing and other U.S. defense contractors.

In essence, then, the hack gave up not just secrets of the Israel's primary defence mechanism, but U.S. systems, too. The Israeli government credits Iron Dome with intercepting one-fifth of the more than 2,000 rockets that Palestinian militants have so far fired at Israel during the current conflict. This morning, Gaza City and Israel's Eshkol were hit by a series of deadly blasts, killing at least ten people. [Krebs on Security]

Image by Israel Defense Forces under Creative Commons license