JERUSALEM/BOSTON - Hackers broke into a Defense Ministry computer via an email attachment tainted with malicious software that looked like it had been sent by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), an Israeli cyber security firm said on Sunday.

Aviv Raff, chief technology officer at Seculert, said the hackers earlier this month temporarily took over 15 computers, one of them belonging to Israel's Civil Administration that monitors Palestinians in east Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Raff told Reuters that Palestinians were suspected to be behind the cyber attack, citing similarities to a cyber assault on Israeli computers waged more than a year ago from a server in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

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