Count on this latest development to get a fraction of the attention of Russiagate.
The Justice Department on Wednesday announced charges against three Iranian individuals alleged to have launched cyberattacks against U.S. and global critical infrastructure.
A senior Justice Department official told reporters that the individuals — Mansur Ahmadi, Ahmad Khatibi and Amir Hossein Nickaein — are alleged to have carried out attacks against hundreds of computers in both the United States, Russia, Israel, the United Kingdom and organizations in Iran beginning at least in October 2020. Groups impacted included health care, transportation and utility companies, along with a domestic violence shelter and state and county governments.
The charges were unveiled Wednesday by the District of New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s Office at a press conference. Victims in the U.S. listed in the indictment include an unnamed township and accounting firm in New Jersey, along with unnamed power companies in Mississippi and Indiana. A county government in Wyoming, a construction company in Washington, and the Bar Association for a U.S. state were also targeted.
According to the Justice Department, several of these victims paid ransoms to Ahmadi, Khatibi and Nickaein following ransomware attacks they perpetrated.
The Iranian individuals are still at-large and believed to be in Iran, according to the Justice Department official, who also stressed that while the individuals did not carry out attacks on behalf of the Iranian government, the government allowed the attacks to take place. One senior official described these state-affiliated actors as up to something on the side.
Ransomware, often paid out in cryptocurrency, has become a booming business especially for sanctioned economies like North Korea, Cuba, Russia, Venezuela and Iran. The lines between state and private hackers is so thin as to often be imaginary.
Iran’s hackers went well beyond ransomware to exactly the kind of election interference Dems pretend to care about. When it isn’t being conducted by one of their allied Islamic terror states.
An indictment charged two Iranians over a “cyber-enabled disinformation and threat campaign designed to influence the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election.”
Many conservatives already knew that Iranian hackers had tried to pass themselves off as members of the Proud Boys in a false flag operation designed to increase Democrat turnout and generate an election backlash to President Trump. One example of the Iranian campaign involved sending emails to “tens of thousands of registered voters” that threatened them “with physical injury if they did not change their party affiliation and vote for President Trump.”
The importance of the indictment though is that it shows the campaign came from the IRGC.
The DOJ statement only notes that the hackers had “worked as contractors for an Iran-based company formerly known as Eeleyanet Gostar, and now known as Emennet Pasargad”. The official sanctions designation at the Treasury Department however explains why the company keeps changing names. “Emennet was previously designated under its former name, Net Peygard Samavat Company” for its work with the “Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Electronic Warfare and Cyber Defense Organization (IRGC-EWCD). The company rebranded itself to evade U.S. sanctions and continue its disruptive cyber operations against the United States.”
The indictments are obviously meaningless. But the real issue is that Iran is engaging in a cyberwar against us and interfering in our politics to benefit the Democrats.
Iranian hackers have been targeting U.S. state government websites in “an intentional effort to influence and interfere with the 2020 U.S. presidential election,” according to an investigation by the FBI and the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).
The hackers have “successfully obtained voter registration data in at least one state,” the FBI and CISA advisory report published Friday said.
In terms of volume, networks originating in Russia and Iran comprised the largest share of what Facebook calls “Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior,” the report says, with 27 Russian and 23 Iranian networks shut down. Facebook doesn’t attribute all the campaigns to governments, but many of the Russian and Iranian campaigns had all the hallmarks of intelligence influence operations, private researchers said.
Why aren’t we hearing more about this? One word. Collusion.