Iranian Cyber Espionage Plot Targeted US-Israel Relations

Thursday, 29 May 2014 08:10 AM

By Melissa Clyne

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Iranian hackers spent three years on a cyber-espionage campaign targeting senior U.S. military officials, members of Congress, lobbyists and others working on foreign policy related to Iran and the U.S.-Israel relationship, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The hacking campaign used a phony online news website,, that posted plagiarized stories about defense and foreign policy. The Iranians lured their targets to fake sites through social media networks. They stole log-on credentials after targets connected to them via phony profiles created on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube and other sites, according to iSight Partners, the Dallas-based cyber-security firm that infiltrated the operation.

The people featured in fake profiles purported to work in defense contracting, journalism and government. iSight has dubbed the operation Newscaster because a half-dozen of the fake profiles claimed to work for, Reuters reported.

Victims outside the United States include people in the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, according to iSight, which states that Newscaster "is unprecedented in complexity, scale, and longevity."

Among the 2,000 targets discovered in the operation is a four-star Navy admiral, according to iSight, though the company declined to identify anyone by name.

According to The Washington Post, the hackers sought information on "weapon systems development … insight into the U.S. military, the U.S.-Israel alliance or nuclear negotiations between Iran and the United States and other powers."

"It is such a complex and broad-reaching, long-term espionage campaign for the Iranians," Tiffany Jones, an iSight senior vice president and a former National Security Council aide in the George W. Bush administration, told the Journal. "What they lack in technical sophistication, they make up in creativity and persistence."

The FBI has been notified as have the social networking sites, according to iSight. Facebook has removed all profiles associated with the phony NewsOnAir and a company spokesman told the Journal it has refined its systems to better snare fake accounts.

Related Stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Poll: Likely Voters Favor a GOP-Led Congress

Monday, 20 Oct 2014 08:19 AM

People most likely to vote in the Nov. 4 midterm elections this year say they prefer Congress to be controlled by the Re . . .

New Tests Likely for Ebola Vaccine First Tried in '99

Monday, 20 Oct 2014 08:03 AM

A vaccine that appears to stop Ebola in monkeys was successfully tested in 1999, but only now are efforts under way to a . . .

Obama to Bypass Congress on Easing of Iran Sanctions

Monday, 20 Oct 2014 07:37 AM

President Obama is doing everything in his power to bypass Congress and suspend most of the sanctions placed on Iran ove . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved