Iran Hackers Holding Ransoms through Malware

As per news reports, hackers in Iran have designed a new form of ransom-malware that completely lock up any computer they infect until they demanded ransom has been paid through digital currencies. Any contents on a computer and then temporarily and completely blocked until ransom payment. Additionally, this new malware has been infecting computers during a time when US sanctions on Iran are meant for a re-up in November this year.

The Infection

Since 2016, the iDefense unit of Accenture has uncovered five alternate versions of the ransomware infecting computers and may possibly come as a result of Iranian hackers. Cybersecurity leader of Accenture, Jim Guinn, has stated that the ransomware seems to be focused on acquiring any ransom through cryptocurrencies, most notably Bitcoin. Additionally, the infectious program features a few versions of itself written in Farsi as per the cybersecurity group’s report.

Accenture has also stated that the possibility that governmental hackers in Iran may be responsible for the creation of the ransomware. This also possibly includes local cybercriminals. In addition to the malware/ransomware creation, Guinn has stated that hackers within Iran might be the reason cryptocurrency mining malware has spread throughout the Middle East. He adds that the mining malware was discovered to have infected several devices belonging to oil and gas facilities throughout the Middle East.

Alireza Miryousefi, the leading figure of the Iranian UN office has allegedly stated that these private companies are spreading false advertisement as a means of conning other private companies and overseas governmental authorities into purchasing and accepting their products. Additionally, Miryousefi also commented on Accenture, stating that their research and discoveries are misleading and false.

Iran’s government has continuously denied any allegations or accusations of its involvement in conducting these digital attacks and instead have stated to be victims of these attacks themselves. While these claims may possibly be true, in 2010, the United States and Israeli government allegedly conducted a joint cyber attack on the nuclear facilities within Iran. According to reports, this dismantled the country’s uranium supplies.

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