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Israel blames Iran for cyberattack on technology institute

Illustration file picture shows a man typing on a computer keyboard. [REUTERS/Kacper Pempel]
Illustration file picture shows a man typing on a computer keyboard [REUTERS/Kacper Pempel]

Israel's National Cyber Directorate has publicly held Iran responsible for last month's cyberattack on the Israel Institute of Technology, also called Technion.

The National Cyber Authority and Technion said a joint investigation concluded that the cyberattack on the Technion three weeks ago was carried out by a group known as MuddyWater, which is affiliated with Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security.

A number of attacks around the world have been attributed to the group, including in the United States and the United Kingdom, they said, noting that around a year ago, both countries released a joint statement blaming the group for attacks in Asia, Africa, and North America

"The investigation revealed that the group used malware designed to encrypt operating systems," it added.

Last month, Technion suffered a cyberattack forcing the Israeli institute to ask students and teachers to disconnect their computers from their network.

READ: Iran poses major cyber-security threat to Gulf

"It is a complex event and it will take time to return to normal," said Professor Uri Sion, head of Technion.

On the day of the attack, a group calling itself DarkBit launched a Telegram channel and claimed responsibility for the attack, calling it "the technological core of an apartheid regime," and threatening more attacks on entities affiliated with Israel.

The group said: "The [Israeli] apartheid regime must pay the price of occupation, war crimes against humanity, killing people and destroying their future."

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