TEL AVIV (Dispatches) -- A cybersecurity company has claimed that China “most likely” staged large-scale cyberattacks on Israeli regime departments and tech companies based in the occupied Palestinian territories between 2019-20, according to a report cited by Haaretz.
FireEye, a multi-billion dollar cybersecurity firm based in California, confirmed to the Israeli paper that hackers had targeted the Zionist regime as part of a broader hacking campaign.
The company claimed that the hacking tools used to infiltrate the occupying regime’s bodies - including the war ministry - indicated that China was behind the attack.
Among the data taken by the Chinese hack were emails, usernames, and passwords, according to FireEye. The attackers also looked through documents and email servers.
Haaretz termed it the “largest and the most widespread” operation, which also targeted the occupying regime’s military and spying bodies.
Sanaz Yashar, who led FireEye’s investigation into Israeli targets, said the attacks could be linked to Israeli infrastructure projects that China is involved in.
“There are a lot of Israeli companies that are involved in the very fields at the core of Chinese interests, as reflected in their five-year plans,” Yashar told Haaretz.
“Their goal isn’t necessarily always to steal intellectual property; it’s possible that they’re actually looking for business information.”
“In the Chinese view, it’s legitimate to attack a company while negotiating with it, so they will know how to price the deal properly.”
She added: “When the Chinese do business, they don’t enter the contract with their eyes shut. They examine the other offers, the board of directors’ emails, correspondence among people, what the intrigues are and who the key people are.”
Reacting to the claims, the Chinese embassy in the Israeli-occupied territories termed the report “baseless accusations” for “political purposes,” asserting that China is a “staunch upholder of cybersecurity.”
“In fact, China is a major victim of cyberattacks. According to statistics from China’s National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team, about 52,000 malicious program command and control servers located outside China took control of about 5.31 million computer hosts in China in 2020, which seriously undermined,” the embassy said in a statement.
It is not the first time reports of Chinese cyberattacks on Israel have created a buzz. Former INCD chief Buky Carmeli in August 2018 claimed that China and other cyber powerhouses were involved in spying on the Israeli public and private sectors.
Last month, the Zionist regime’s military intelligence chief Tamir Hayman acknowledged that Israel was facing constant cyberattacks, puncturing the lofty claims of its advanced cyber technology.
Newly-appointed premier Naftali Bennett last month termed cyberattacks “one of the greatest threats” facing Israel.
“Everything is under attack: our water, electricity, food, airplanes, cars. Everything is vulnerable,” said Bennett, who previously headed a cybersecurity company.
Washington has previously expressed reservations and concerns that Chinese investments and infrastructure developments in Occupied Palestine could undermine the Zionist regime’s security relationship with the U.S.
In June 2019, Haifa defied U.S. pressure and signed a 25-year contract with Chinese company Shanghai International Port Group to build and operate a large shipping seaport on the Mediterranean. Set to begin operations in 2021, the occupying regime of Israel recouped $290 million for the privatization of the port.
U.S. authorities have expressed concerns that the Chinese company would be operating close to where U.S. Navy ships dock and could potentially collect intelligence, but the contract moved forward anyway.
Last year, the Zionist regime denied a U.S. maritime team access to inspect the Port of Haifa. But in May, Israel bowed to U.S. pressure and turned down a Hong Kong firm’s $1.5 billion investment bid to develop a water desalination plant.