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Iran Hacked Blueprints of Israeli Submarines, Says Former Knesset Member

TEL AVIV – Blueprints for submarines that were being built in Germany for the IDF were hacked in a cyberattack with links to Iran, a former Knesset member claimed Wednesday.

“When Israel is ordering strategic submarines from Germany, a hacker … gets into Thyssenkrupp and is able to steal the secrets and blueprints of the submarines that were developed in Germany for Israeli use,” high-tech entrepreneur Erel Margalit, who served as an MK for the Labor party between 2015-2017, said at a cybersecurity conference in Tel Aviv.

A hacker broke into the Thyssenkrupp computers in 2016 around the time Israel was ordering submarines from a German shipyard, Margalit said, adding that the shipyard was owned by the family of Samir Moqbel, the former defense minister in Lebanon.

“We know that the boats, the Corvettes that Israel is buying to protect … its waters … are bought from a shipyard that is owned by a Lebanese family, one of which was the Lebanese defense minister, who has intimate dealings with Iran,” he said. “And so you are asking yourself whether the new blueprint of Israel’s boats is in the hands of Iran.”

“So what I’m trying to show you is that even Israel as the world-leading, together with the United States, cyber country, sometimes the shoemaker can walk barefoot if they get him through their neighbors or through their allies,” he warned.

In 2016 it emerged that the Iran Foreign Investment Company, an Iranian government company, holds a 4.5 percent stake in Thyssenkrupp.

Margalit warned that “while the world is trying to delay and prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power, Tehran has already become a cyberpower, with attacks against Israel, the U.S., Saudi Arabia and others.”

In a future conflict with Iranian proxy Hezbollah, he said, Israel will have deal with Tehran’s capabilities “that we have not yet encountered in the cyber arena, especially in light of the lack of protection for civilian infrastructure in Israel.”

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