Israel’s leading technological institute has been the victim of a cyberattack from a group that says it opposes an “apartheid regime” and the sacking of computer experts.
The group, which is calling itself DarkBit, has hacked the computer servers of the Technion Institute of Technology, in Haifa, and claims to have transferred all of the university’s data to its servers.
It is demanding 80 bitcoins ($1,729,320) as ransom. It said the amount will go up by 30 percent if the payment is not received within 48 hours, and after five days, it will start to sell the data.
The group describes itself as being against any kind of racism, fascism, and apartheid, according to its Telegram channel.
In a message it posted on the university’s website, which was shared by Tel Aviv-based cybersecurity professional Alon Gal, the group wrote: “We’re sorry to inform you that we’ve had to hack Technion network completely and transfer all data to our secure servers.
“So, keep calm, take a breath and think about an apartheid regime that causes troubles here and there.
“They should pay for their lies and crimes, their names and shames. They should pay for occupation, war crimes against humanity, killing the people (not only Palestinians’ bodies, but also Israelis’ souls) and destroying the future and all dreams we had. They should pay for firing high-skilled experts.”
The university said it is postponing scheduled exams due to the cyberattack, but classes will continue as usual.
The Israel National Cyber Directorate (INCD) is reportedly in touch with the university, according to The Jerusalem Post, to assist it with the incident and study the consequences.
It is unclear how many classes will actually be able to run normally with interruptions in digital services, especially given the university’s strong focus on technology.