GRC Viewpoint

Two Iranian Nationals Accused of Cyber Crimes to Influence US Voters

Last week, in what could be another disturbing event for a highly disturbed US cyber security space, two Iranian nationals were accused of spreading false information during the 2020 U.S presidential election. 

As per confirmed reports, the Iranian nationals were involved in cyber threats to influence the US Presidential Election, last year.

An official statement by the US DoJ, the department of justice confirmed their active involvement in “a cyber-enabled campaign to intimidate and influence American voters, and otherwise undermine voter confidence and sow discord”.

The accused also tried to obtain highly confidential US voter details from online sites such as state election websites. Threatening email communication was sent to frighten and influence voters. Also, there were efforts to create and spread videos containing information about infrastructure vulnerabilities in connection with the 2020 presidential election.

The defendants are identified as Seyyed Mohammad Hosein Musa Kazemi, 24, and Sajjad Kashian, 27. They are hacking experts and were employed with Emennet Pasargad, a firm based in Iran. The enterprise used to extend cybersecurity solutions within Iran. Federal agencies were among their customers.

If further reports are to be believed, similar incidents are likely in the future. It is now evident that hackers associated with the Iranian government have been trying to spread cyber-crimes within the US. The adopted tactics include deploying ransomware targeting a broad range of sectors and victims. Reports confirming the news were included in an advisory released on Wednesday by the Australian, British and American governments.

Iran is also attentive about leveraging the results of the initial hacks before these vulnerabilities can be corrected. Public health and health care sectors appear to be the main targets of attackers.

Ransomware attacks are hardly new in the US. However, it is alarming that more countries are surfacing as major contributors. Earlier, Russia-based cyber hackers used to dominate the space.

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