It has been reported that state-sponsored hacking of US officials has been tied to sanctions levied against Iran by the US.
Expert Comments below:
Israel Barak, Chief Information Security Officer at Cybereason:
“This news shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone as Iran and all nation-states have been hacking each other for decades and we can expect it to continue in an aggressive fashion. We are in an era of new spying, one dominated by advancements in technology where cyber spies rule this type of world the same ways spies did during the cold war battles between nations. The pattern of operation that is described in Certfa’s research certainly fits the profile of previous activities by Iranian actors. Further more, there is a lot of evidence that these types of campaigns and operations never stopped and never slowed down. The data suggests that Iran has been engaged in these activities for a long time and have recently accelerated them.
Phishing scams continue to be a very common tactic that still continues to be effective way into networks. Phishing is very successful because it takes advantage of one of the weakest links in the security chain, which is the unsuspecting user. Phishing takes advantage of the users judgement on whether to click a link, open a web page and often times there is no air tight mechanism in place to prevent this. At the end of the day, users are bound to open the doors to the enterprise network to threat actors and its about having mechanisms in place to allow organisations to further inspect and to get a better feel for the user activity that open the door to criminal activity.
Reducing the risk from uneducated users is a worthy cause and certainly fits within an enterprise’s security program. The biggest question is how we can leverage technology to prevent threat actors from being allowed into corporate networks by unsuspecting employees. Today, machine learning and behavourial analysis technologies are proving to be effective in identifying these abnormalities in cases where humans fail to see the facade of something that turns out isn’t benign at all.”