All the latest UK technology news, reviews and analysis


Iranian 'Newscaster' cyber spies snooped on US and Israeli officials

29 May 2014
iran

Iran-based hackers used fake personas on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube and Blogger to mount a far-reaching cyber espionage campaign targeting US and Israeli officials.

Security firm iSight Partners tracked the campaign to a group of Iranian hackers which it claims has ensnared as many as 2,000 victims across the globe in an operation dubbed 'Newscaster'.

"This campaign, working undetected since 2011, targets senior US military and diplomatic personnel, congressional personnel, Washington DC area journalists, US think tanks, defence contractors in the US and Israel, as well as others who are vocal supporters of Israel to covertly obtain log-in credentials to the email systems of their victims," read the report.

The attacks targeted people with requests from fake online personas claiming to work in journalism, government and defence contracting.

"These credible personas connected, linked, followed and 'friended' target victims, giving them access to information on location, activities and relationships from updates and other common content," explained iSight.

"Accounts were then targeted with 'spear-phishing' messages. Links which appeared to be legitimate asked recipients to log-in to false pages, thus capturing credential information."

The security firm said it is currently unclear what data was taken during the attacks.

"We are unable to say with complete visibility. However, it is reasonable to assume that a vast amount of social content was compromised in addition to some number of log-in credentials that can be used to access additional systems and information," read the report.

"As users often maintain the same credentials for multiple sites, it is impossible to determine the scope, scale and duration of data loss."

Targeted attacks are a growing problem facing governments and businesses. Security firm FireEye reported that the 90 Advanced Persistent Threat families currently active infected over 250 workstations with malware every day in April.

  • Comment  
  • Tweet  
  • Google plus  
  • Facebook  
  • LinkedIn  
  • Stumble Upon  
Alastair Stevenson
About

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

More on Security
What do you think?
blog comments powered by Disqus
Related jobs
Poll

Windows 10 poll

What are your first impressions of Windows 10?
12%
5%
10%
3%
19%
3%
48%

Popular Threads

Powered by Disqus
V3 Sungard roundtable event - Cloud computing security reliability and scalability discussion

CIOs debate how to overhaul businesses for the digital era

V3 hosts roundtable with Sungard Availability Services

Updating your subscription status Loading
Newsletters

Get the latest news (daily or weekly) direct to your inbox with V3 newsletters.

newsletter sign-up button
hpv3may

Getting started with virtualisation

Virtualisation can help you reduce costs, improve application availability, and simplify IT
management. However, getting started can be challenging

ibmv3may

Converting big data and analytics insights into results

Successful leaders are infusing analytics throughout their organisations to drive smarter decisions, enable faster actions and optimise outcomes

Senior 2nd Line ICT Support

Senior NHS 2nd Line Support - ERS, PostgreSQL, Puppet...

Windows 8 Application Developer

Want to innovate alongside the smartest technical talent...

Senior Front End Developer/Senior UX Developer

This is an excellent opportunity for an Senior Front...

IT Service Delivery Manager

IT Service Delivery Manager - London City - Salary .c...
To send to more than one email address, simply separate each address with a comma.