A US government-sanctioned Iranian nation-state group has been blamed for the hack of French satirical journal Charlie Hebdo in early January 2023.
Microsoft, which disclosed the main points of the incident, is monitoring the group of actions underneath its chemical ingredient moniker. NEPTUNIUMwhich is an Iran-based firm often called Emennet Pasargad.
In January 2022, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) linked the state-backed cyber unit to a classy affect marketing campaign carried out to intervene with the 2020 presidential election. Two Iranian residents have been charged for his function within the disinformation and menace marketing campaign.
Microsoft’s disclosure comes after a “hacktivist” group referred to as Holy Souls (now recognized as NEPTUNIUM) claimed to be in possession of the private info of greater than 200,000 Charlie Hebdo clients, together with their full names, cellphone numbers and addresses. and e-mail addresses.
The breach, which allowed NEPTUNIUM to realize entry to an inside database, is suspected to have been orchestrated in retaliation in opposition to the publication for operating a cartoon contest “ridiculing” Iranian Supreme Chief Ali Khamenei.
The publication of the complete cache of stolen information, which was marketed for 20 Bitcoin, may result in mass doxing and put its readers prone to being attacked on-line or bodily by extremist organizations, Redmond warned.
“After Holy Souls posted the pattern information on YouTube and numerous hacker boards, the leak was amplified by a concerted operation on numerous social media platforms,” the producer’s Digital Menace Evaluation Heart (DTAC) stated. Home windows.
“This amplification effort made use of a selected set of affect techniques, methods and procedures (TTPs) that DTAC has witnessed earlier than in Iranian hack and leak affect operations.”
Factors of similarity embrace using false flag individuals to hold out their hacking and leaking operations, inauthentic puppet accounts, and the impersonation of authoritative sources, corroborating an October 2022 FBI tip.
The objective, the FBI assessed, is “to undermine public confidence within the safety of the sufferer’s community and information, in addition to to embarrass sufferer corporations and goal international locations.”
“These hacking and leaking campaigns contain a mixture of hacking/information theft and data operations that impression victims by way of monetary loss and reputational injury,” the company added.