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Hacktivists hit Technion Institute of Technology

by on13 February 2023

DarkBit encrypted the Israeli university's system

Israeli public research university Technion Institute of Technology has been hit by a cyber attack.

The Haifa-based academic institution found a ransom note from the new 'DarkBit' ransomware group was left on the university's systems, where the attackers demanded 80 Bitcoin or roughly US$ 1,745,200 to release the decryptor to the university.

The Institute has had to postpone a few exams but claims to be working normally.

'DarkBit' is new and claims to be against "racism, fascism and apartheid" may cause their activities to be considered hacktivism. However, they also have been complaining about tech layoffs and want huge amounts of bit cash to go away which suggests other motives. 

While attacking Israel for being an "aparheid regime," DarkBit attackers want to make them pay for "war crimes against humanity" and "firing high-skilled experts."

"A kindly advice to the hight-tech companies: From now on, be more careful when you decide to fire your employees, specially the geek ones [sic]," DarkBit said in a subsequent tweet. Suggesting their spokesperson is not a native English speaker.

The threat actors seem to imply that laying off highly technical employees without doing due diligence could pose a threat to an organisation's security posture. Some laid off (and disgruntled) employees may have insider knowledge enabling them to acquire easier access to an organisation's computer networks even after termination.

The group has threatened to impose a 30 per cent penalty on top of an already-significant ransom demand should the university not agree to pay up. Additionally, the attackers warn they'd be putting up any stolen data for sale after five days.


Last modified on 13 February 2023
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