US says Iran-sponsored hackers concentrating on well being, transportation sectors

Hackers “associated with the government of Iran” are actively concentrating on a variety of US sectors, together with with ransomware, a cybersecurity advisory issued by US, British and Australian governments stated Wednesday. 

The joint alert from the US Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, the Australian Cyber Security Center and the UK’s National Cyber Security Center stated the hackers have been concentrating on transportation, well being care and public well being sectors within the United States, in addition to Australian organizations.  

US authorities have noticed that Iranian government-sponsored hackers exploited vulnerabilities in Microsoft Exchange and Fortinet “to focus on a broad vary of victims throughout a number of crucial infrastructure sectors in furtherance of malicious actions” since at least March. 

The hackers “can leverage this access for follow-on operations, such as data exfiltration or encryption, ransomware and extortion,” the advisory said. The targets included a US-based hospital specializing in health care for children and a web server hosting the domain for a US municipal government. 

The cyberalert comes a day after Microsoft reported the discovery of six Iranian threat groups that had deployed ransomware since September 2020. Separately, the tech giant announced in October that suspected Iranian hackers used a technique known as “password spraying” to breach the Microsoft Office 365 accounts belonging to Israeli and US defense technology firms.  

In June, Facebook said a group of Iranian hackers used fake accounts to target US military personnel as well as defense and aerospace workers. The hacking group, known as Tortoiseshell, reportedly used Facebook and other social media platforms to engage and build trust with targets before infecting their devices with malware for espionage purposes.

Israel has also been targeted with suspected Iranian hacks. YnetNews reported final month that an Iranian hacking group launched information on a whole bunch of Israeli military personnel in addition to a non-public picture of Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz to the darkish net. 

Earlier this month, one other suspected Iranian-linked group launched a trove of information from an Israel-based LGBTQ relationship app after its ransom calls for weren’t met.


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