(The Hosting News) – A group of Iranian hackers have been using social media sites for the last three years to target high-ranking officials around the world, said cyber intelligence firm, iSight, on Thursday.
According to PCMag, the hackers created fake accounts on sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Blogger, Facebook, and YouTube in a campaign dubbed “Newscaster” to gain information from U.S. lawmakers and ambassadors, local journalists, U.S. defense contractors, U.S. Navy admirals, and personnel from Britain, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Saudi Arabia.
“NEWSCASTER is distinctive for its reliance on social networks, and the intricate network of false personas that exists on several of these platforms. Most notably, several of these personas are legitimized by a front news organization called NewsOnAir.org,” says iSights blog.
iSight reported that the hackers created eight “personas” that said they worked for defense contractors and another six that worked for the fake news site NewsOnAir.org that used information from media outlets such as BBC, Reuters, and the Associated Press.
In order to become “friends” with the officials on social media networks, the attackers would befriend the targets colleagues, relatives, classmates, and friends to gain credibility.
The Iranian hackers reportedly made connections with more than 2,000 people using their 14 fake accounts, with the intention of targeting several hundred individuals.