UN Watchdog Hacked Over Israel Nuclear Program
The International Atomic Energy Agency, a United Nations group charged with overseeing nuclear energy and weapons, announced this week it was hacked by a group that posted a petition demanding the IAEA investigate Israel’s nuclear weapons program.
Going by the name of “Parastoo,” the hackers posted roughly 100 email addresses of nuclear experts associated with the IAEA, according to the BBC. The existence of Israel’s nuclear weapons program has never been confirmed or denied by Israeli officials.
“Parastoo” is a Farsi word, sparking claims the group is either affiliated with Iran, or at least that it wants the world to think it is.
According to an IAEA spokesperson, the targeted server was shut down “some time ago,” and the data lost involved “some contact details related to experts working” with the group.
“The IAEA’s technical and security teams are continuing to analyze the situation and do everything possible to help ensure that no further information is vulnerable,” that spokesperson told the BBC.
Reuters quoted an anonymous Western diplomat as saying the lost data did not pertain to any of the IAEA’s confidential work.
The news of the apparently politically-motivated attack comes a bit more than a week after a cease-fire was announced in a conflict between Israel and the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, which left more than 150 Palestinians and six Israelis dead. The fighting also saw a digital angle, as Hamas and the Israeli military engaged in a propaganda duel over Twitter and journalists used social media to bring scenes of the combat to the world.
The hack is also far from the first time cyberwarfare has involved Iran and nuclear power: a series of computer viruses targeting Iranian nuclear facilities were recently reported to have been designed by the United States and Israel.