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Hackers attack Israel! Is the 'Iron Dome' safe?

It looks like several Israeli defense contractors were attacked by hackers a few years ago. This is bad news for the country and the U.S. because much of the stolen data had to do with some American missile technology and the "Iron Dome" system that defends Israel from missiles.

According to Columbia, Md.-based threat intelligence firm Cyber Engineering Services Inc. (CyberESI), between Oct. 10, 2011, and August 13, 2012, attackers thought to be operating out of China hacked into the corporate networks of three top Israeli defense technology companies, including Elisra Group, Israel Aerospace Industries, and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.

Most of the stolen information had to do with "Iron Dome," missile technologies and unmanned aerial vehicles. Some of this information was provided to Israel by the U.S. and its defense contractors like Boeing.

The attackers were most likely the same Chinese military group that the U.S. has accused of stealing information from American companies and defense contractors. The U.S. has already brought charges against five members of the People's Liberation Army group, called PLA 61398.

The hackers stole over 700 MB of data. The stolen information came in all forms, like Word documents, PowerPoints and emails. But, that's not all. The hackers also did damage to the hacked companies' internal systems.

“Once the actors established a foothold in the victim’s network, they are usually able to compromise local and domain privileged accounts, which then allow them to move laterally on the network and infect additional systems,” the report continues. “The actors acquire the credentials of the local administrator accounts by using hash dumping tools. They can also use common local administrator account credentials to infect other systems with Trojans. They may also run hash dumping tools on Domain Controllers, which compromises most if not all of the password hashes being used in the network. The actors can also deploy keystroke loggers on user systems, which captured passwords to other non-Windows devices on the network.”

So far, it doesn't seem like the theft has affected the "Iron Dome." Thus far in Israel's current conflict, it is credited with stopping roughly 20 percent of the missiles fired at the country. But, only time will tell what kind of affect this will have on Israel and what the hackers will do with the information.

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