FBI’s Most Wanted: Iranian Hacker Charged in Massive Cyberattack Campaign

Estimated read time 2 min read

Alireza Shafie Nasab, an Iranian computer hacker was added to the FBI’s list of wanted cyber criminals. The iranian hacker is accused of participating in hacking campaigns that targeted multiple U.S. government agencies, private companies and defense contractors.

According to the FBI and U.S. Attorney Office, from 2016 to 2021, Nasab worked with other Iranian hackers to conduct computer intrusions against over a dozen U.S. companies and the Departments of Treasury and State. Their victims included cleared defense contractors as well as a New York accounting firm and hospitality company.

The hackers deployed phishing emails campaigns with malicious links to infect computers and networks. In one case, they compromised an administrator account at a defense firm, using it’s infrastructure to launch further attacks. Social engineering tactics like impersonating individuals were also employed.

“Nasab allegedly took part in an aggressive campaign of cyberattacks targeting U.S. agencies, defense firms, and New York companies supporting the Department of Defense,” said James Smith, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office. “This case underscores the need for robust cybersecurity to thwart hostile nation-state actors.”

Image Source: Rewards for Justice / State Department

Nasab, 39, allegedly worked for an Iranian company called Mahak Rayan Afraz that served as a front for the hacking operations. He is accused of building infrastructure used in the cyber attacks and stealing identities to register malicious email accounts and servers.

The State Department has offered a $10 million reward for information leading to Nasab’s arrest. He faces charges including conspiracy to commit computer fraud and wire fraud, carrying potential decades in prison.

June Bauer

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