9 Iranians With Hacking Universities to Steal Research Data
The Us Government has raised some criminal charges against 9 different Iranians citizens. From information, these men were involved in the hacking of universities, Government organisations, tech companies to steal some scientific research resources and academic papers.
In addition to this, the individuals are connected to Mabna Institute (an Iran company created in 2013 whose members were allegedly hired by the Iranian government for gathering intelligence.
The group used spear-phishing attacks to target more than 100,000 e-mail accounts and computer systems of the professors around the world, and successfully compromised 7,998 of those accounts till last December—3,768 of them at US universities.
The group then exfiltrated the academic data and sold the content via Megapaper.ir and Gigapaper.ir, Iranian websites “where customers could access the online library systems of the hacked universities.”
Recommended: Download Adobe Prelude Cc For Mac Os X
Following are the names and roles of the nine Iranians who were charged by the U.S. federal court:
- Sajjad Tahmasebi (A Mabna Institute contractor who was apparently maintaining the list of stolen credentials and helped other hackers in reconnaissance process in order to prepare the list of targeted universities and professors to facilitate the spear).
- Mohammed Reza Sabahi (Also an Mabna Institute contractor, who assisted in making the lists of targeted university professors and academic databases).
- Mostafa Sadeghi (A hacker working with the Mabna Institute, who allegedly compromised more than 1,000 university professors accounts and exchanged their credentials with Iranian partners).
- Gholamreza Rafatnejad (One of the founding members of the Mabna Institute).
- Seyed Ali Mirkarimi (A hacker and Mabna Institute contractor, who was engaged in crafting and sending malicious spear phishing emails to steal credentials belonging to university professors).
- Ehsan Mohammadi (Another founding member of the Mabna Institute and responsible for organising hacking campaign along with Rafatnejad).
- Roozbeh Sabahi (Another contractor for the Mabna Institute).
- Abdollah Karima (A businessman who owned and operated a website to sell stolen academic materials online).
- Abuzar Gohari Moqadam (An Iranian professor who exchanged stolen credentials for compromised accounts with Mabna Institute founders).
Ideally, it isn’t easy to get through with loss amount in dollar when it has to do with conspiracy. The U.S based Universities spent more than $3.4 billion in other to access data which Iranians accessed for free because of their criminal activity.
These 9 Iranian hackers, the U.S. Department of Treasury has also charged a 10th Iranian hacker, named Behzad Mesri, in connection with cyber attacks against HBO and with leaking ”
According to the authorities, Mesri compromised multiple user accounts belonging to HBO in order to “repeatedly gain unauthorized access to the companys computer servers and steal valuable stolen data including confidential and proprietary information, financial documents, and employee contact information.”
Their targeted countries include Japan, China, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.