Microsoft Report: Iranian Hackers Focus on Middle East Experts

Experts in Middle Eastern affairs from various countries, including the US, UK, Belgium, France, Israel, and Gaza, have reportedly been targeted by hackers connected to the Iranian government, as per Microsoft. The hacking group, known as Mint Sandstorm, has been using a phishing scheme to target these experts since November. The hackers have been using deceptive links or forms to trick individuals into revealing personal information. The report also mentioned that the hackers have used new post-intrusion tradecraft, including a new backdoor called MediaPl. The Iranian hackers have been known to target journalists, researchers, professors, and individuals with insights or perspectives on security and policy issues of interest to Tehran. These individuals are attractive targets for adversaries seeking to collect intelligence for the states that sponsor their activity, such as the Islamic Republic of Iran. Groups linked to Iran and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps have previously targeted Israeli individuals and organizations in cyberattacks. The targeting of Israelis by Iranian hackers has increased since the October 7th Hamas attacks. Reports have shown a rise in cyberattacks in Israel, with 52% of those being directed against government systems, following the Hamas attacks in October.