Iranian hackers have upgraded their capabilities to carry out cyber attacks against foreign targets, it is feared.
A German intelligence agency said attacks emanating from Iran had hit targets in Europe and the US as well as Tehran’s regional rivals.
The targets in Europe included politicians, government officials, businesses, scientists and researchers.
The annual report by Germany’s Office for the Protection of the Constitution warned of a heightened threat level from Iranian attacks.
“Iranian cyber actors have significantly raised their technological capacity to carry out cyber operations,” it said.
“We have to assume that Iranian actors will continue to strengthen and professionnalise their efforts.
“We take it for granted that there is a continued high level of threat against German institutions from cyber attacks directed by the Iranian state.”
The main methods used by the hackers include spear phishing in which people are duped into handing over sensitive information.
One such attack targeted German companies by tricking their employees into installing malware on their computers.
As well as German businesses, Iranian hackers are thought to have targeted dissidents, journalists and rights activists living in Europe.
They have taken an interest in research institutions in Germany such as colleges and universities.
“In most cases, Iranian cyber attackers try to gain permanent access to sensitive information,” the report said.
Previous intelligence findings highlighted Iran’s efforts to acquire weapons technology from unsuspecting European businesses.
The latest report said that sanctions on Iran gave the regime an incentive to acquire information and expertise through cyber attacks.
US sanctions on Iran were restored after Donald Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers in May 2018.
Iran responded by breaching its nuclear activity limits agreed to under the deal.
Germany is one of the remaining parties to the deal along with Britain, France, Russia and China, who are holding talks in Vienna aimed at reviving the pact.
Read the complete article at: The National News