Iranian hackers target WHO staff

Number of cyber incidents rise sharply.

Cyber analysts have linked Iranian hackers to a recent phishing campaign targeting World Health Organisation (WHO) staff.

The campaign has seen the personal email accounts of WHO staff hit with phishing emails from what appeared to be Google platforms that redirected users to malicious websites, according to Reuters.

“We’ve seen some targeting by what looks like Iranian government-backed attackers targeting international health organisations generally via phishing,” said one of the news organisation’s sources.

Earlier this year, Iranian hackers were tipped to become a continuing threat in cyberspace in response to escalating tensions between the Middle Eastern nation and the US which lead to Iran firing missiles at US military bases in neighbouring Iraq.

Iran, however, denied any involvement in the targeting of WHO staff by bad actors.

“These are all sheer lies to put more pressure on Iran,” a spokesperson for Iran’s ICT minister said.

“Iran has been a victim of hacking.”

Spokesperson for the WHO, Tarik Jasarevic, confirmed the phishing campaign but could not attribute them.

“To the best of our knowledge, none of these hacking attempts were successful,” he added.

A person familiar with US intelligence suggested to Reuters that the state-based hackers could be trying to get their hands-on information about how other countries are managing the coronavirus, including response plans, treatments, or infection rates.

Last month, images were revealed showing the expansion of Iranian cemeteries – purportedly as a mass grave site for coronavirus victims.

At the time of writing, Iran has more than 58,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 3,600 deaths from the disease.

Read the article in Information Age (Australian Computer Society).