(CTN News) – As per Microsoft analysts, Iranian state-backed hackers have targeted satellite, defence, and pharmaceutical companies around the world in order to gather intelligence and perhaps build up domestic production of these products in spite of heavy US sanctions on these industries.
According to Microsoft, the Iranian hackers have successfully breached several organisations since February using a simple hacking technique that shows the high level of determination of Tehran’s hacking teams in order to infiltrate the network.
A number of heavy sanctions imposed by the Microsoft United States on Iran have limited the country’s access to military hardware and discouraged Western companies from supplying medical supplies to the country as a result.
As a result of the sanctions, the industries targeted by the hackers are those in which they may have difficulty obtaining the necessary resources in order to build domestic production as a result of difficulties in acquiring said resources.
In spite of the fact that the exact reason behind the targeting of satellite, defence, and pharmaceutical companies is unclear, the increased incentive created by the sanctions suggests that Iran is seeking valuable intelligence out of these companies.
The hackers, according to Microsoft analysts, have been breaking into email accounts by guessing common passwords in bulk until one of them works, thus gaining access to the accounts.
In some cases, intruders have stolen data from victim networks, while in others, they have monitored email accounts without the victims’ knowledge.
As a result of the Microsoft simplicity and effectiveness of this technique, hackers have been able to continue their operations without being detected for many years.
In the past, Iran has denied allegations of hacking, and the government has yet to respond to the current one, according to the report.
There has been no disclosure by Microsoft as to which companies in the US were targeted, and the US National Security Agency has not made any statements on the matter either.