Report: Iran-Sponsored Hackers Targeting U.S. Companies

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NBC News reports:  A private cybersecurity firm has identified what it says is a hacking group sponsored by the Iranian government that has targeted organizations in the U.S., the Middle East and Asia.

The firm, FireEye, which gathers cyber intelligence and responds to incidents through its Mandiant subsidiary, says in a report out Wednesday that the Iranian hacking group has targeted companies involved in the petrochemical industry and in military and commercial aviation — perhaps seeking an edge in its regional rivalry with Saudi Arabia.

FireEye dubbed the group APT33 — APT stands for “advanced persistent threat” — and says it has hacked targets through spearphishing emails. “These campaigns demonstrate the depth of Iran’s cyber capabilities,” said John Hultquist, director of intelligence analysis for FireEye. “Actors like APT33, now narrowly focused on the Middle East, are the tools Iran will reach for if they choose to carry out attacks in the future.”

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