Operational 404 – A Case of Serious Cyber Mischief
- Serious and repeated cyber attacks have been launched targeting Israeli’s higher education and tech sectors since January 2023
- The motive behind these attacks is to deploy an unseen wiper malware
- The cyber miscreants, named “Agonizing Serpens/Agrius”, reported to be an Iranian state-sponsored hacking group, are said to be behind this activity
A Wave of Cyber Attacks Hit the Israeli Tech Industry
Just when you thought your spreadsheet was the toughest thing to handle, businesses in Israel’s higher education and tech sectors have found themselves in the firing line since January 2023. It’s been going down like a Microsoft update on a Friday afternoon—constantly, and with massive inconvenience. It appears the perpetrators have been wielding an elusive wiper malware unseen before; fresh out of the cyber attack bakery, you could say.
Enter The Cyber Villain: Agonizing Serpens/Agrius
Who is behind this round of digital dodgeball turned deadly? Well, it seems the hall of hacking fame has a new inductee. They go by the names Agonizing Serpens or Agrius, depending on which online-gaming tag they’re using for the day. These aren’t garden-variety cyber pranksters – the team is an Iranian state-sponsored hacking group. It’s always a bummer when your online opponents have state-funding.
The “delete all” brand of dynamite arriving in the Israeli tech and higher education sectors since January 2023 is believed to be a unique malware. The purpose of these cyber attacks resembles a plot out of a dystopian tech novel where the main goal is to eradicate critical information. The crew accused of this virtual vandalism could be likened to the final boss of a ’90s arcade game—state-sponsored and mean. It’s a bit like having the joystick yanked away just when you’re about to hit a new high score, except in this game, there’s a whole lot more at stake than just bragging rights.