In DepthCybersecurity

U.S. blames ‘massive’ hack of research data on Iran

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Science  30 Mar 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6383, pp. 1450
DOI: 10.1126/science.359.6383.1450

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The U.S. Department of Justice on 23 March unsealed an indictment that charges nine Iranians with what it called a "massive and brazen cyberassault." According to the indictment, the accused were working on behalf of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and stole data from 7998 professors at 320 universities around the world over the past 5 years. The hackers allegedly pilfered 31.5 terabytes of documents and data, including scientific research, journals, and dissertations. In addition to universities—more than half of which were in the United States—targets included the United Nations, 30 U.S. companies, and five U.S. government agencies. The indictment said the hackers tricked professors into giving them their logins, and they cracked into other accounts with commonly used passwords. An Iranian spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the charges were false.