US imposes sanctions on Iranian spy agency over alleged hacking campaign against US and allies

Ministry of Finance defendant Esmail Khatib, who oversees Iran’s spy agency and “multiple networks” of hackers involved in cyber espionage and ransomware attacks to “support Iran’s political goals.”

It is the latest attempt by US officials to curb the impact of the Iranian hack, which analysts say Tehran sees as an asymmetrical tool to project power and pursue political goals.

Iran’s Ministry of Information and Security was behind the July hack of the Albanian government, the finance ministry said, and the incident was linked to its NATO member states and White House condemned. Albania has said it will cut diplomatic ties with Iran in response to what may be the first instance of a hack that has caused a severing of diplomatic ties with Iran.

In a separate statement, the Undersecretary of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson called the Iranian hacks “increasingly offensive”, while Secretary of State Anthony Brinken said Tehran’s cyber activities were being used by “civil government services”. could cause serious damage,” he warned. and an important infrastructure sector. “

FBI Director Christopher Wray in June defendant Iranian government-backed hackers tried to hack Boston Children’s Hospital a year ago, but Tehran denied it.

Iran’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.

The sanctions were imposed by US cybersecurity firm Mandiant. Release details An alleged hacking campaign linked to another Iranian government agency, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, targeting US government officials focused on Iranian policy and Iranian dissidents. Hackers appear to have contributed to the IRGC’s espionage and crackdown by targeting the mobile phones and email accounts of Iranian activists and the email accounts of US officials, Mandiant said.

US prosecutors have released an indictment of an IRGC member allegedly involved in the plot to assassinate former US National Security Advisor John Bolton.

The Biden administration is seeking to revive a 2015 agreement with Iran to put limits on Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. “It’s putting us back,” Brinken said Friday.


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