Israeli officials’ data becomes victim in Iranian cyber warfare offensive

January 14, 2024
1 min read

TLDR:

  • The personal data of Israeli civil servants and government workers has been leaked and reached a foreign government, according to a report by Haaretz.
  • A petition was filed at the Tel Aviv Magistrates Court requesting the lifting of the gag order on the leak, which was partially granted.

The personal information of several civil servants and government workers in Israel has been leaked and reached a foreign government, according to a report by Haaretz. The leak was reported in the foreign press, leading to a petition being filed at the Tel Aviv Magistrates Court requesting the lifting of the gag order on the leak. The court partially granted the request, revealing that the gag order was enacted at the request of data protection officials who acknowledged their failure.

The State Attorney’s Office requested the gag order to investigate the incident. The petitioner’s lawyer argued successfully that the gag order should be lifted for the public good, as enough time had passed since its issuance. The lawyer also accused the Shin Bet and the Israel National Cyber Directorate of using the gag order to conceal an embarrassing failure, despite their claims of being able to defend Israel.

The leak of personal data is seen by Dr. Avner Barnea, a former Shin Bet official from the University of Haifa’s National Security Studies Center, as an opportunity for improvement. Dr. Barnea believes that such leaks increase awareness and keep government agencies and the public more informed about cybersecurity risks.

This leak is part of an ongoing shadow cyber war between Israel and Iran. Since the start of the conflict with Hamas, there has been an increase in cyberattacks, with 52% of those directed against government systems. Israeli and Iranian targets have been attacked, including Ziv Medical Center and gas stations across Iran. A hacker group called “Predatory Sparrow” disabled the gas stations, and it has been linked to Israel.

This article highlights the issue of personal data leaks affecting Israeli civil servants and government workers, which reached a foreign government. The lifting of the gag order reveals the failures of data protection officials and raises questions about the effectiveness of Israeli cybersecurity agencies. The ongoing cyber war between Israel and Iran is mentioned as a backdrop to the leak, with increased cyberattacks reported following the conflict with Hamas. The leak is seen as an opportunity for improvement in cybersecurity awareness.

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