- Around 20 British universities targeted as hackers raided intellectual property
- UK and US authorities said the cyber raids were state-sponsored by Iran
- Thought that infamous Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps masterminded crimes
Iranian hackers with links to the Tehran government stole secrets from British universities in a series of cyber attacks on academics’ computers, it has been revealed.
Hackers working for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) are accused of conducting massive state-sponsored cyber attacks targeting 320 universities in 21 countries.
Around 20 British institutions were affected as hackers raided intellectual property, a Whitehall source toldThe Daily Telegraph.
Around 20 British institutions were affected and intellectual property was targeted in a state-sponsored, global cyber attack
It’s not clear which universities were hit or whether specific academics were targeted.
The identity of nine Iranians accused of conducting the government-backed crimes were revealed in US court papers made public yesterday.
The nine men are accused of working for the Mabna Institute, an Iran-based company, which was acting under the direction of Iran’s revolutionary guard according to the court papers.
The National Cyber Security Centre said with ‘high confidence’ the Mabna Institute was behind the attacks on British universities.
The identity of nine Iranians accused of conducting the government-backed crimes were revealed in US court papers made public yesterday
US deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein said: ‘These nine Iranian nationals allegedly stole more than 31 terabytes of documents and data from more than 140 American universities, 30 American companies, five American government agencies, and also more than 176 universities in 21 foreign countries.
‘For many of these intrusions, the defendants acted at the behest of the Iranian government and, specifically, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.’
The Mabna Institute was established in 2013, and US prosecutors believe it was designed to help Iranian research organisations steal information.
By targeting the email accounts of more than 100,000 professors worldwide, the hackers compromised about 8,000 of them, according to the US justice department.