Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan today denied Israeli culpability for a round of spyware attacks on venues related to the Iran nuclear talks, despite the spyware in question being widely acknowledged as Israeli government-made.
The spyware in question is a variant on Israel’s Duqu spyware, named Duqu Bet by Kaspersky Labs, using the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet to note it as a sequel version. The new spyware is much bigger and more aggressive, but uses substantial parts of the original’s code.
The reports reveal that the Duqu Bet had infiltrated the computers of several hotels and conference buildings that were all playing host to different rounds of Iran talks, stealing hotel data as well as closed-circuit surveillance camera videos and all microphone-recorded audio at those sites.
Interestingly, Ben-Dahan conceded his denial was entirely meaningless to the situation within his own press conference, conceding part way through that Israeli intelligence doesn’t inform him of their covert spying campaigns in the first place, and he’s thus in no position to either confirm or deny the incident.
Israeli responsibility for the cyber-espionage makes oodles of sense, denials notwithstanding, as the nation has repeatedly claimed secret information about the talks that the US insists it didn’t share with them, which has prompted repeated efforts by the Obama Administration to keep details of the talks from being leaked to Israel.