LONDON: British officials have warned that Russian and Iranian hackers are targeting British politicians and journalists and others in the UK and elsewhere through a ‘sophisticated’ spear-phishing campaign.
Britain’s National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) has issued a fresh alert in which it has warned about cyber attacks on certain groups and people and attempts to steal information.
NCSC has identified two hacking groups – Russia-based Seaborgium and Iran-based TA453 – as the culprits and has issued an alert warning those in defense organizations, the media and government against clicking on malicious links.
The NCSC has said that hackers are targeting people who are doing research related to Iran and Russia.
The NCSC is part of the UK’s cyber and intelligence agency GCHQ and shares cyber security information with the public including politicians, officials, journalists, activists.
The agency says these hackers often pose as acquaintances to gain people’s trust, sending them fake Zoom meeting invites that contain code to hack their computer systems. By clicking on this link, the person’s account gets hacked and the sensitive information kept in the computer gets into the hands of the hacker.
Agency director Paul Sichester has said, “Organizations and individuals should be aware of such threats and protect themselves.”
Officials have directly accused neither Russia nor Iran of stealing information through cyberattacks. Although he has warned about two hacking groups and said that these groups are believed to be associated with these two countries.
According to media reports, a hacker group known as SEABORGIUM i.e. cold river had targeted MI6 chief Sir Richard Dearlove and US nuclear laboratories.
While the two groups have been active for some time, they are believed to have stepped up their operations significantly since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, targeting individuals in the US and elsewhere, as well as in the UK.