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A US government-sanctioned Iranian nation-state group has been blamed for the hack of French satirical journal Charlie Hebdo in early January 2023.
Microsoft, which disclosed the small print of the incident, is monitoring the group of actions beneath its chemical ingredient moniker. NEPTUNIUMwhich is an Iran-based firm often known as Emennet Pasargad.
In January 2022, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) linked the state-backed cyber unit to a complicated affect marketing campaign carried out to intrude with the 2020 presidential election. Two Iranian residents have been charged for his position within the disinformation and risk marketing campaign.
Microsoft’s disclosure comes after a “hacktivist” group referred to as Holy Souls (now recognized as NEPTUNIUM) claimed to be in possession of the non-public data of greater than 200,000 Charlie Hebdo clients, together with their full names, cellphone numbers and addresses. and e mail addresses.
The breach, which allowed NEPTUNIUM to realize entry to an inside database, is suspected to have been orchestrated in retaliation towards the publication for operating a cartoon contest “ridiculing” Iranian Supreme Chief Ali Khamenei.
Redmond additional warned that releasing the complete cache of stolen information may result in mass doxing.
“After Holy Souls posted the pattern information on YouTube and numerous hacker boards, the leak was amplified by a concerted operation on numerous social media platforms,” the producer’s Digital Risk Evaluation Heart (DTAC) mentioned. Home windows.
“This amplification effort made use of a specific set of affect ways, methods and procedures (TTPs) that DTAC has witnessed earlier than in Iranian hack and leak affect operations.”
Factors of similarity embody the usage of false flag folks to hold out their hacking and leaking operations, inauthentic puppet accounts, and the impersonation of authoritative sources, corroborating an October 2022 FBI tip.
The purpose, the FBI assessed, is “to undermine public confidence within the safety of the sufferer’s community and information, in addition to to embarrass sufferer firms and goal international locations.”
“These hacking and leaking campaigns contain a mixture of hacking/information theft and knowledge operations that influence victims by means of monetary loss and reputational injury,” the company added.
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Iranian Nation-State Group Sanctioned by U.S. Behind Charlie Hebdo Hack