Israel vehemently denied Wednesday night that it had been involved in spying on Iran or in planting viruses in European hotels to monitor the talks between Iran and Western powers over that country's nuclear program.
In an interview on Israel Radio Wednesday night, Deputy Defense Minister called the allegations “utter nonsense. Israel does not use such methods, and we already have sufficient methods to find out what is going on in the talks” without having to resort to hacking.
With that, Ben-Dahan admitted it was possible that Israel had breached computers and networks to get information, and that he had not been included in discussions on the matter.
Earlier Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal, quoting a report issued by the Kaspersky Lab ZAO, said that American officials suspected Israel in the planting of a version of the Duqu virus, which was found in the servers of several hotels where the virus had been discovered – specifically the hotels in Switzerland where the talks were taking place. Kaspersky checked thousands of hotels throughout Europe, but found the viruses only at those locations.
Kaspersky officials allegedly did not name Israel as the official source for the virus, but noted there were subtle signs implicating it, including the name of the virus as "Duqu Bet" (Hebrew: Duqu 2).
The firm has reached out to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) over the report; the FBI has so far remained silent on confirmation of the report's findings, but one senior congressional official said the matter is being taken seriously.
Experts believe Duqu, first discovered in 2011, is used to carry out Israel's most delicate intelligence-gathering projects.
Israel also denied spying on talks when the Journal released a similar report in March.
In that report, Israel had been accused of using unspecified means to acquire information “from confidential US briefings, informants and diplomatic contacts in Europe.”