Iranian independent media is reporting that a hacktivist group has published the identities of alleged hackers working for the cyber division of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). According to an Iranwire report:
July 18, 2022 A hacktivist group known as “Lab Dokhtegan” (“Sealed Lips”) has published the identities of a number of alleged hackers working for the IRGC’s cyber division. In a series of posts on Telegram at the weekend, the group named and shared the pictures of 15 people working for two companies, Naji Technology and Afkar System. These, it said, were “cover companies” affiliated with the IRGC. The individuals were said to be members of well-known pro-regime cybercrime outfits including Phosphorus, Charming Kitten, Cobalt Mirage, Nemesis Kitten and TunnelVision, which have carried out a series of sophisticated attacks on targets within and outside Iran in recent years. Apart from trying to steal information or cause disruption in Europe and the US, Lab Dokhtegan said these groups had also used programs like BitLocker to encrypt victims’ computers, then extort them for ransom money.
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The Global Influence Operations Report reported last year that the IRGC-linked Phosphorus hacking group (aka Charming Kitten, APT35) conducted a global phishing attack that included think tanks, political research centers, university professors, journalists, and environmental activists in the countries around the Persian Gulf, Europe, and the US.
According to a BBC profile, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) was set up shortly after the 1979 Iranian revolution to defend the country’s Islamic system and provide a counterweight to the regular armed forces. In April 2019, the U.S. State Department announced its intention to designate the IRGC in its entirety as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). In May 2020, Brig. Gen. Mohammad Hejazi was appointed the new IRGC’s Quds Force deputy commander after its former head General Qassem Soleimani had been killed in a U.S. airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport. Since its foundation, the IRGC has become a major military, political and economic force in Iran. Reuters opined in 2019 that the IRGC, comprising an estimated 125,000-strong military with army, navy, and air units, is more than a military force. “It is also an industrial empire with political clout and is loyal to the supreme leader.”