Iran TerrorismIBM Warns of Iran’s New Cyber Threats

IBM Warns of Iran’s New Cyber Threats

-

Iran hacking threats

By Pooya Stone

IBM has warned that state-sponsored Iranian hackers, notably APT34 “and at least one other group, [also] likely based out of Iran”, have created new “malicious malware” to target “industrial and energy sectors” in the Middle East.

Although no specific companies were identified, the nature of the attack is unsurprising as Iran’s ongoing conflict with America and its allies has made these sectors a target.

APT34 has been in the news several times over the past year, including through its use of LinkedIn during a phishing attack, but the identity of the other group that is more interesting. Cybersecurity experts believe that the other group is Iran’s APT33, possibly the most famous Iranian threat actor, because of the sectors it is targeting and its wiper malware.

APT33 is responsible for the Microsoft Outlook exploit in July, which used its own virtual private network (VPN) to conceal the attack, and the 2012 Shamoon attack on Saudi Aramco, which wiped most of the data from the state-owned energy company’s computers.

The new wiper malware has been named “ZeroCleare” by IBM’s X-Force team, who wrote in their report: “We were not surprised to find that ZeroCleare bears some similarity to the Shamoon malware—ZeroCleare aims to overwrite the Master Boot Record (MBR) and disk partitions on Windows-based machines.”

The malware used EldoS RawDisk to clear the MBR and damage disk partitions on many networked devices. IBM thinks this is the first time that this strain of malware has been used.

The report read: “[This sows] the seeds of a destructive attack that could affect thousands of devices and cause disruption that could take months to fully recover from.”

Iran’s hackers are demonstrating an increasingly advanced set of cyber weapons to target certain industries in the Middle East and this is a big concern for cybersecurity.

IBM said: “[The attacks represent a] low-cost, and potentially non-attributable means of conducting hostile, and even warlike activity, [which has the] potential to disrupt critical services, damage or destroy highly specialized equipment, and ultimately inflict detrimental cascading effects upon global energy security and industries.”

For the Iranian government, cyber warfare means that they can attack states, like Saudi Arabia, the US, and the UK, much more easily and with less danger of retaliation than if they conducted a military strike. Cyberwarfare has become a bigger threat in 2019 and it is only set to get worse in the years to come.

Latest news

Frustration of Iran’s Middle Class

These days, the middle class of Iran still maintains its cultural conditions, but economically it has collapsed into the...

Hamid Noury Contradicts His Own Testimony During His Trial

The fifth day of former Iranian prison official Hamid Noury’s own testimony at his trial in Sweden took place...

Iran: Militarization of the Country’s Education

After months of contention about the position of the minister of education, the Iranian regime’s president Ebrahim Raisi finally...

As Thousands of Iranian Prisoners Were Executed in the 1988 Massacre, the World Remained Silent

With the trial of former Iranian prison official Hamid Noury still ongoing in Sweden, proceedings were briefly expedited to...

Even a Revived JCPOA Will Not Save Iran’s Government

Since the beginning of the Iranian regime’s nuclear crisis, which was revealed by the Iranian opposition group, the MEK,...

Iran’s 1988 Massacre Will Never Be Erased From History

As the trial of former Iranian prison official Hamid Noury races forward in Sweden, supporters of the Iranian Resistance...

Must read

Iran brushes off sanctions impact on petchems

Reuters: International sanctions on Iran are not hurting a...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you