Iran is in a tight spot with heavy sanctions placed by the United States which could lead to the country facing a major economic turmoil. Thus it has turned to digital hacking and viruses which according to cybersecurity experts interviewed by The Wall Street Journal is targeting to earn in cryptocurrencies.
According to the interview, the cyber securities which have found the cryptocurrency related threats belong to Accenture PLC’s cybersecurity intelligence group.
One such clue of the ransomware being linked to Iran, are the messages in Iran’s native language of Farsi. The hackers and ransomware may be the path of a government plot to help the economy thrive.
Several clues link the ransomware to Iran. Samples include messages in Farsi that are connected to Iran based computers.
A recent Accenture report noted the ransomware could be driven by Iranian government supported parties, criminals, or both.
Former director of the National Security Agency and U.S Cyber Command who is now the chief executive of cybersecurity company IronNet CyberSecurity Inc spoke about the link of crypto mining and theft for cash-needy countries.
“Crypto-mining and theft is an opportunity to get cash for cash-strapped countries,” Alexander said.
In addition to ransomware, there has been crypto mining software installed on customer’s networks all over the Middle East causing millions of dollars estimated to be lost in gas and oil facilities. These are all linked to Iran with digital clues left behind. This Crypto mining software according to Jim Guinn is stealing computer processing power to perform the mathematical operations that generate digital currencies.
However, Iran has denied its role in the cyber attacks and instead clarified that it’s the victim of being hacked.
It’s not only cryptocurrency that is being stolen, according to last month the trustworthy cybersecurity firm Symantec Corp. and Palo Alto Networks Inc. described Iran as being involved in the theft of intellectual property.
A few weeks ago, Iran had confirmed a state-issued cryptocurrency similar to Venezuela’s Petro. It is seen as a move to reduce the impact of the US sanctions.
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