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Amid ongoing cyberwar, Iran uses new tactic: Doxing Israeli foes

In tacit threat, Tehran releases the name, photo and address of an Israeli cyber security expert who specializes in Iranian hacking efforts

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

An illustrative image of a hacker (Михаил Руденко; iStock by Getty Images)
An illustrative image of a hacker (Михаил Руденко; iStock by Getty Images)

Iran on Wednesday released the name, photograph, phone number and home address of an Israeli cyber security expert who specializes in Iranian hacking efforts — its latest gambit in an ongoing cyberwar.

The information was published by Fars News, an Iranian outlet operated by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The release of the information, or doxing, served as a tacit threat to both the cyber security specialist himself and to other Israelis who perform similar work.

In addition to his name, phone number and home address, Fars also published the cyber security expert’s birth date, email address, social media handles and a photograph of his apartment building. Most of the information appears to have been gleaned from his social media accounts and other open sources.

The Israeli man appeared to have been targeted by the IRGC because of his work in the Israel Defense Forces, in Military Intelligence’s cyber-focused Unit 8200; and in the civilian world, for a cyber security firm, Clear Sky, which has uncovered a number of hacking efforts by Iran.

Israel and Iran have for years been involved in a largely quiet cyberwar, which occasionally bubbles to the surface.

Last month, Iran accused Israel of being behind a cyberattack on the country’s gas stations, knocking them out of service for a week.

Days later, an Iranian-linked hacking group, Black Shadow, targeted an Israeli hosting company, temporarily shutting down a number of websites and stealing user data from “Atraf,” an Israeli LGBT dating site.

Black Shadow also stole a vast trove of information from Israeli insurance company Shirbit last year and then sold it on the dark web when the firm refused to pay a ransom.

In 2010 the Stuxnet virus — believed to have been engineered by Israel and the US — infected Iran’s nuclear program, causing a series of breakdowns in centrifuges used to enrich uranium.

Iran disconnected much of its infrastructure from the internet after the Stuxnet virus.

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