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Israeli Shipping Companies Being Targeted by Iran Linked Hacking Group, U.S. Cybersecurity Firm Says

Illustrative: A cybersecurity expert talks about Iran hacking techniques, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, September 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, File)
Illustrative: A cybersecurity expert talks about Iran hacking techniques, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, September 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, File)

A hacking group that appears to be linked to Iran has been targeting Israeli shipping in recent years, as the shadow war between Israel and Iran began to play out at sea after mainly being waged on land and in the air, a leading US cybersecurity firm said Wednesday.

The hacking group focused on collecting intelligence from Israeli entities and has also targeted Israeli government, energy and health care organizations, said the Virginia-based cybersecurity firm Mandiant.

The cybersecurity group warned that intelligence and data the hackers obtained could be leveraged for nefarious activities, such as becoming fodder for damaging leaks or guiding direct military action. It wasn’t clear how successful the hackers had been in their attacks.

The hacking group has also targeted some global companies, indicating its activity may go beyond Israel, although there is no known target outside Israel so far.

Mandiant said it was moderately confident that the group is linked to Iran and has found some technical remnants pointing to an Iranian link, such as the use of Persian, including the word khoda, which means “God.”

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