Two Israeli companies, both owned by the government, have reported that several military documents have been stolen. The companies were responsible for the development of the Iron Dome missile defence system, and lost documents relating to ballistic rockets and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, otherwise known as drones).
The intelligence report, seen by the BBC, states hundreds of files were copied over a period of 8 months, between 2011 and 2012. However, the companies claim their classified networks were not compromised.
The nature of the data stolen indicates that hackers were seeking intelligence on Iron Dome, a complex all-weather air defence system which can intercept and destroy shells and rockets. Word documents, power point presentations, spreadsheets, PDFs and executable files were all taken from the companies as well as sensitive data such as passwords and emails.
The two defence contractors, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, have had their data monitored by Cyber Engineering Services (CyberESI) who created the report in 2013.
Experts from CyberESI say the attacks showed similar characteristics to previous cyber attacks from China, and that the tools used were “known to originate from” China. The Chinese government denies any involvement in the attacks.
Cyber attacks on Israel are not uncommon. The Israeli government site reported 44m attacks during the conflict with Hamas in 2012, a majority of which came from Palestinian territory. Social media websites were also targeted, such as the Facebook page for Domino’s Israel. A TV Channel was also hacked to display a message to mothers in Israel to urge their sons to return home from war.