Israel says Iranian hackers broke into the e-mail accounts of senior Israeli officials and carried out targeted "phishing" attacks to retrieve information about politicians and academics. 

Israeli cybersecurity company CheckPoint revealed on Tuesday that some of the targets have a high public profile, such as former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, the former US ambassador to Israel, and the head of a large security research institute in Israel.

According to CheckPoint, the Iranians who hacked into the e-mail accounts of the officials, impersonated them on various platforms, corresponded on their behalf and eventually stole personal information from them.

The hackers, for instance, used a false identity of a retired Israeli Defense Force general and the former ambassador to Washington in order to approach other officials to continue their breach on the personal information of high-level officials in the defense industry, passports and other restricted documents.

The company added that the hacking campaign began in December of 2021, and continued for at least six months, ending last week.

The ploy was uncovered when Livni approached checkpoint after she became suspicious in December, when she received a mail from the former IDF general who urged her to enter her email password in a Trojan file that had invited her to attend a conference abroad.

In May, Israel’s security agency Shin Bet said it uncovered an alleged plot by Iranian intelligence to lure Israeli academics and former defense officials to travel abroad in order to kidnap them.

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