Israel’s National Cyber Directorate officially confirmed on Tuesday that Iran was behind the cyberattack on Israel's leading engineering university last month.
The Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa also known as Technion was targeted by hackers in early February. According to today's announcement, those responsible for the attack is a group affiliated with Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security.
The institute's website went down and students were asked to log off. The hackers demanded a ransom of 80 bitcoins from Technion, which is equivalent to $1,747,971. The hacker group also threatened to increase the requested sum by 30% if their demands are not met within 48 hours, and put all of the university's data up for sale on the web after five days.
The wording of the email that followed the attack is littered with anti-Israeli rhetoric, which suggests the attack was motivated by ideological reasons, and not greed.
"We regret to inform you that we’ve had to hack Technion network completely and transfer ‘all’ data to our secure servers," the attackers wrote in the email, "Keep calm, take a breath and think about an apartheid regime that causes troubles here and there. They should pay for their lies and crimes, their names and shames.”
“They should pay for occupation, war crimes against humanity, killing the people (not only Palestinians’ bodies, but also Israelis’ souls) and destroying the future and all dreams we had. They should pay for firing high-skilled experts," the mail read.
Israeli media has earlier said the cyberattack was carried out by a group called Darkbit.
Technion is the flagship of scientific research in Israel, it trains thousands of high-level engineers every year. Last September, a group of what is believed to be pro-Iranian hackers stole and published personal information of 30,000 Israeli teachers and students.
Reprinted with permission from i24NEWS.