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Israel’s Defense Ministry announced on Wednesday that a cyber-crime group linked to North Korea had attempted to infiltrate Israel’s defense industries.

The attackers attempted to penetrate defense manufacturers’ networks by pretending to be recruiters for major international firms, the ministry said.

“The perpetrators created fake accounts and presented themselves as executives, human resources officers, and as representatives of leading international firms,” the statement said. The attackers then reportedly asked their marks to accept a file detailing job requirements that contained malicious code. The hackers’ goal, according to the statement, was to “infect the computers of the Israeli industries and to collect sensitive security information.”

The scale of the attack was not made clear, but according to the statement the targeted networks were not harmed or disrupted. A report by The New York Times disputes this, claiming the attackers had successfully penetrated some of the networks and had likely stolen large quantities of data.

The attackers were identified by the Defense Ministry as “an international cyber group called ‘Lazarus.’” According to the ministry, the group is backed by a state actor.

Israeli cybersecurity firm Security Joes’ CEO Ido Naor told Israel Hayom that that state is most likely North Korea, which has been linked to Lazarus by the United States.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.


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