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Iranian hackers ‘phished’ researcher by posing as Israeli ex-intel chief- report

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21.11.2020

Iranian hackers impersonated the former head of Israeli military intelligence and his assistant to fish for analysis from a researcher at a think tank, Channel 13 news reported on Friday.

According to the report, an email was sent on November 1, ostensibly from a Gmail account belonging to Deborah Oppenheimer, Director of External Relations and secretary to Amos Yadlin, head of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), to the Alma Research and Education Center.

Lt. Col. (Ret.) Sarit Zehavi, founder of the Alma Center, said the email informed them that Yadlin wished to speak with one of their researchers.

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“We didn’t know what it was about, but when someone of this magnitude approaches us, we answer straight away, and send them the phone number,” Zehavi said. Lt. Col. (Ret.) Sarit Zehavi, founder of the Alma Center speaks with Channel 13 news in report broadcast November 20, 2020 (Screen grab)

The next day, the researcher received a string of WhatsApp messages from an account that appeared to be Yadlin’s, using a profile picture of the former head of the Israel Defense Forces Military Intelligence Unit.

“Before we talk, I want you to read this document and to hear your opinion,” one message read, including a link to a report authored by four researchers at INSS which........

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