Fri, Jun 12, 2015 - Page 6 News List

Israel denies links to reported hacking of Iran nuclear talks

Reuters, JERUSALEM

An Israeli deputy minister yesterday dismissed as baseless reports that Israel might have had a connection to a computer virus that a security company said was used to hack into venues linked to international negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program.

Russia-based Kaspersky Lab on Wednesday said that it found the spyware in three European hotels that hosted negotiations involving Iran and six world powers, and also on the company’s own computers.

Both Kaspersky and US security company Symantec said that the virus shared some programming with previously discovered espionage software called Duqu, which security experts have said was developed by Israelis.

Israeli government officials initially declined to comment, but yesterday Israeli Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Hotovely denied Israel was involved.

“The international reports of Israeli involvement in the matter are baseless,” she told Army Radio.

“What is much more important is that we prevent a bad agreement, where at the end of the day we find ourselves with a Iranian nuclear umbrella,” she said.

Israel, widely believed to be the Middle East’s only nuclear power, has denounced the diplomatic opening to Iran, saying it doubts any agreement arising from the talks would sufficiently restrain the atomic program of the nation.

The West suspects that Iran wants to develop a nuclear weapons capability from its enrichment of uranium.

Iran says it is seeking nuclear energy for electricity and medical isotopes and denies it has intentions to build nuclear weapons.

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