Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Endpoint

10/4/2019
04:35 PM
50%
50%

Iran Caught Targeting US Presidential Campaign Accounts

Microsoft detected the so-called Phosphorus nation-state gang attacking 241 user accounts associated with a US presidential campaign, current and former US government officials, journalists, others.

A well-known Iranian nation-state hacking team has targeted 241 user accounts connected to a US presidential campaign, as well as existing and former government officials, journalists, and Iranian nationals residing outside that nation, according to Microsoft, which discovered the attacks.

Between August and September, Microsoft's Threat Intelligence Center spotted the so-called Phosphorus hacking group — aka APT 25, Charming Kitten, and Ajax Security Team — going after specific Microsoft customers. The group made more than 2,700 attempts to get those accounts, ultimately targeting 241 of them. They ultimately compromised four user accounts, none of which were associated with the US campaign or US 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," said Tom Burt, corporate vice president of customer security and trust for Microsoft, in a blog post about the incident today.

The hackers spoofed password reset or account recovery alerts as a way to infiltrate the victim accounts. "For example, they would seek access to a secondary email account linked to a user's Microsoft account, then attempt to gain access to a user's Microsoft account through verification sent to the secondary account. In some instances, they gathered phone numbers belonging to their targets and used them to assist in authenticating password resets," Burt explained.

Phosphorus has been a relatively active threat group. Microsoft in March took down 99 phishing and other malicious websites run by Phosphorus, and the group was spotted in December 2018 targeting email accounts of US Treasury members, defenders, detractors, Arab atomic scientists, Iranian civil society figures, DC think-tank employees, and officials charged with enforcing the former US-Iran nuclear deal.

Check out The Edge, Dark Reading's new section for features, threat data, and in-depth perspectives. Today's top story: "Rethinking Cybersecurity Hiring: Dumping Resumes & Other 'Garbage.'"

Dark Reading's Quick Hits delivers a brief synopsis and summary of the significance of breaking news events. For more information from the original source of the news item, please follow the link provided in this article. View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
dbriggs018
50%
50%
dbriggs018,
User Rank: Author
10/7/2019 | 1:08:21 PM
No surprises
This is not a surprise to anyone.  The question is what can we all do?
44% of Security Threats Start in the Cloud
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  2/19/2020
Zero-Factor Authentication: Owning Our Data
Nick Selby, Chief Security Officer at Paxos Trust Company,  2/19/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
6 Emerging Cyber Threats That Enterprises Face in 2020
This Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at six emerging cyber threats that enterprises could face in 2020. Download your copy today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises Are Developing and Maintaining Secure Applications
How Enterprises Are Developing and Maintaining Secure Applications
The concept of application security is well known, but application security testing and remediation processes remain unbalanced. Most organizations are confident in their approach to AppSec, although others seem to have no approach at all. Read this report to find out more.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-9405
PUBLISHED: 2020-02-26
IBL Online Weather before 4.3.5a allows unauthenticated reflected XSS via the redirect page.
CVE-2020-9406
PUBLISHED: 2020-02-26
IBL Online Weather before 4.3.5a allows unauthenticated eval injection via the queryBCP method of the Auxiliary Service.
CVE-2020-9407
PUBLISHED: 2020-02-26
IBL Online Weather before 4.3.5a allows attackers to obtain sensitive information by reading the IWEBSERVICE_JSONRPC_COOKIE cookie.
CVE-2020-9398
PUBLISHED: 2020-02-25
ISPConfig before 3.1.15p3, when the undocumented reverse_proxy_panel_allowed=sites option is manually enabled, allows SQL Injection.
CVE-2015-5201
PUBLISHED: 2020-02-25
VDSM and libvirt in Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Hypervisor (aka RHEV-H) 7-7.x before 7-7.2-20151119.0 and 6-6.x before 6-6.7-20151117.0 as packaged in Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization before 3.5.6 when VSDM is run with -spice disable-ticketing and a VM is suspended and then restored, allows r...