Iranian state-sponsored hackers are regrouping after the shutdown last year of their main security forum, migrating to other forums and making new connections for potential cyber-response against mounting political pressures from the United States and Europe, according to a new report.
Security researchers have uncovered a three-year cyber attack on a Russian oil company that appeared at first glance to be state-sponsored, but later was found to be the work of cyber criminals seeking financial gain. The discovery is a cautionary tale for security experts not to be too rash when when drawing conclusions about high-profile cyber attacks.
The federal government charged two Iranian men for orchestrating a nearly three-year-long international hacking and extortion scheme that deployed ransomware which to date has caused more than $30 million in losses to its victims, which include hospitals, municipalities and public institutions.
Two security firms warn of a flurry of “sextortion” campaigns recently that use new, creative and sometimes extreme methods that leverage personal information, sex-related activity and even death threats to spur victims to pay thousands in ransom fees to hackers.
The FBI has mislead Congress and the public about the extent to which encrypted cellphones are hampering federal investigations by preventing authorities from accessing the devices–presumably to support the agency’s own agenda to gain backdoor access to them.