Alleged Iranian Hackers Reportedly Release ‘New’ Info on Mossad Chief

© REUTERS / Kacper Pempel/IllustrationA hooded man holds a laptop computer as cyber code is projected on him in this illustration picture taken on May 13, 2017
A hooded man holds a laptop computer as cyber code is projected on him in this illustration picture taken on May 13, 2017 - Sputnik International, 1920, 19.03.2022
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Iran and its arch-foe Israel have regularly accused each other of cyber-attacks since 2010, when the Islamic Republic's nuclear programme was hit by the Stuxnet computer virus, believed to have been developed jointly by Tel Aviv and Washington.
Documents described as “new” files allegedly containing private information related to Mossad chief David Barnea were published on the Telegram channel “Open Hands” on Friday, Israeli media have reported.
The channel, purportedly owned by hackers with purported links to Iran, released Barnea’s alleged wage and tax papers from 2020, a few days after “Open Hands” made public information that Israel claimed was nothing but old data gleaned off a phone belonging to the Israeli spy chief's wife.

“It seems that the director of the Mossad’s wage bill can be found in his wife’s ‘OLD PHONE’! Mr. Bernea [sic], are they sending your NEW documents to your wife’s OLD phone?? Are you sure that the leakage is just from your wife’s ‘OLD PHONE’?” the purported hackers said in a message on the Telegram channel.

The “new” documents reportedly contained Barnea’s Form 106, as well as an annual statement of salary and tax information from his employer, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
This came after “Open Hands” published a video on Wednesday that ostensibly showed several personal photos of Barnea, flight tickets in his name, his ID card, as well as tax documents addressed to his wife and satellite imagery of what the hackers claimed was the spy chief’s private home in the central city of Hod Hasharon.
The footage also contained a clip of Barnea making silly faces, apparently during a private video chat.
The photos and documents released by “Open Hands” cannot be independently authenticated, and it is unclear whether they were obtained by the group through a hack of Barnea’s personal phone or computer.
Iranian media reports on the leak, in turn, claimed that all the documents were “analysed by “several security experts affiliated with the [hacker] group”.

Israel-Iran 'Quiet Cyberwar'

Tel Aviv and Tehran have for years been involved in what Israeli media calls a “quiet cyberwar”, which, in particular saw the 26 October 2021 cyber-attack that disrupted the distribution of fuel at service stations across Iran. The Islamic Republic pointed the finger at Israel over the attack.
In July 2021, the Iranian Transportation Ministry said that a "cyber disruption" had affected its computer systems and website, while in May 2020, Israel reportedly carried out a cyber-attack on the Iranian port of Shahid Rajaei in the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic route for global oil shipments.
This came after developments in 2010, when the Stuxnet virus, thought to have been engineered by Israel and the US, penetrated Iran's nuclear programme and caused a series of breakdowns in centrifuges used to enrich uranium.
Israel has repeatedly pledged to do its best to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, while Tehran insists that its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes only. The two have no diplomatic relations, with Iran refusing to recognise Israel's right to exist and threatening to wipe the Jewish state off the map.
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