US Issues Joint Advisory Warning Companies of Iranian Ransomware

In a joint advisory issued on Wednesday, the U.S. is warning that Iranian state-backed hackers are targeting infrastructure companies with ransomware.

The Iranian government-sponsored APT actors are actively targeting a broad range of victims across multiple U.S. critical infrastructure sectors, including the Transportation Sector and the Healthcare and Public Health Sector, as well as Australian organizations. FBI, CISA, ACSC, and NCSC assess the actors are focused on exploiting known vulnerabilities rather than targeting specific sectors.

Iran Hackers Put Backdoors in VPN Servers

A new report finds that hackers from Iran have been putting backdoors in VPN servers around the world in the “Fox Kitten Campaign.” It sounds like affected companies provide VPN for enterprise, rather than consumers. ZDNet suggests Pulse Secure, Palo Alto Networks, Fortinet, and Citrix.

Though [sic] the campaign, the attackers succeeded in gaining access and persistent foothold in the networks of numerous companies and organizations from the IT, Telecommunication, Oil and Gas, Aviation, Government, and Security sectors around the world.

Texas Sees Surge in Iranian Cyber Attacks

Texas officials say they’ve seen an increase in Iranian cyber attacks. Over the past two days as many as “10,000 probes…per minute” came from the country.

Speaking after a meeting of the Texas Domestic Terrorism Task Force, of which she’s a member, Crawford of the state information resources agency said as far as she knows, none of the attempted cyberattacks on state government networks originating in Iran have been successful.

Microsoft says Iranian 'Phosphorus' Group Tried to Hack U.S. Presidential Campaign

In a blog post today Microsoft says that Iranian hackers attacked a U.S. presidential campaign, current and former U.S. government officials, journalists covering global politics and prominent Iranians living outside Iran.

Four accounts were compromised as a result of these attempts; these four accounts were not associated with the U.S. presidential campaign or current and former U.S. government officials. Microsoft has notified the customers related to these investigations and threats and has worked as requested with those whose accounts were compromised to secure them.

No word yet on what time President Trump asked Iran to interfere with our elections.

Control and Culture Clash in Iran over Mobile MMO 'Clash of Clans'

Iran is in the process of banning Clash of Clans, a move that epitomizes that country’s attempts to control culture clash and behavior. According to TechCrunch, the game has been pulled from a popular third party app store in Iran called Cafe Bazaar and will soon be pulled from its other legitimate source. Here’s what’s interesting to me: Clash of Clans has only officially been available for a month in Iran, and it’s being played by two-thirds of the mobile gaming community. Iran’s religious leaders have deemed it to too addictive and promotes both violence and tribal conflict. At the same time, the game was being played on the black market before its release, where it will still be available. It will be interesting to see if there’s any kind of backlash from the country’s mobile gamers. I’m far from an expert on Iran, but it’s hard to see how the country could possibly stop the world at its borders forever. Don’t get me wrong. Clash of Clans—like Game of War and every other successful MMO—are addictive. But I’ve yet to see a successful attempt to legislate addictive behavior. Below is the SuperBowl 2015 commercial for the game that is pretty darned amusing.

Iran Ready to Ban and Confiscate iPhones

The Iranian government has given Apple an ultimatum: register with the country’s anti-smuggling office now, or all iPhones will be banned and confiscated. The demand comes as part of Iran’s plans to create a database of every cell phone in the country under the guise of blocking smuggling.