It’s the first time, according to a command spokesperson, that the US government has explicitly connected Iran’s intelligence ministry with a prolific espionage group known as MuddyWater that has in recent years tried to siphon data from telecom firms and other organizations across the Middle East.
A spokesperson for Iran’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“Iran fields multiple teams that conduct cyber espionage, cyberattack and information operations,” said Sarah Jones, senior principal analyst at cybersecurity firm Mandiant. “The security services that sponsor these actors, the MOIS and the IRGC, are using them to get a leg up on Iran’s adversaries and competitors all over the world.”
The group has also tried to breach organizations in North America, but there is less publicly available information on those hacks.