Recently, the US authorities have charged two Iranian nationals for carrying out cyberattacks for personal financial gains and benefits of the government of Iran.
The accusation states that Hooman Heidarian and Mehdi Farhadi have been carrying out attacks since 2013 against organizations observed as rivals or enemies of Iran.
Since 2013 they have targeted American and foreign universities, military contractors, NGOs and non-profit organizations, foreign ministries, and other targets who are viewed as enemies of Iran.
During these events, the hackers mainly targeted the organizations that are based in the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arab.
Here’s what the U.S. Attorney Carpenito for the District of New Jersey Reported:
“These Iranian Hackers allegedly conducted a wide-ranging campaign on computers here in New Jersey and around the world.
They brazenly infiltrated computer systems and targeted intellectual property and often sought to intimidate perceived enemies of Iran, including dissidents fighting for human rights in Iran and around the world. This conduct threatens our national security, and as a result, these defendants are wanted by the FBI and are considered fugitives from justice.”
According to the prosecutors, Hooman Heidarian and Mehdi Farhadi hacked victims’ accounts, computers, and internal networks. Here are the confidential data were stolen from the victims:-
- Data related to national security
- Data related to foreign policy
- Data related to nuclear
- Data related to aerospace
- Financial data
- Personally identifiable information
- Intellectual properties like unpublished scientific researches
Moreover, Heidarian and Farhadi have also attacked the Iranian dissidents, human rights defenders, and opposition leaders to stole their personal and confidential data.
These two Iranians hackers were also involved in distributing malware, like keyloggers and Trojans, to establish and gain remote access to compromised networks and systems. Even they have also created their own botnet network to spam and perform major DDoS attacks.
The security experts have speculated that the attackers have sold some part of the stolen data in the black market for personal financial gain, while the rest of the stolen data was sent to Iran’s intelligence department.
The US authorities have claimed that once they catch the hackers, then they will be deported to the United States and sentenced more than 20 years imprisonment. Apart from this, recently, the US authorities have also accused five Chinese nationals and two Russians for cyberattacks.