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US State Department Offering Reward for Info on Iranian Hackers Accused of Election Interference

February 8th, 2022 13:38

US media is report­ing that the State Depart­ment is offer­ing a $10 mil­lion reward for infor­ma­tion on two hack­ers who alleged­ly par­tic­i­pat­ed in an Iran­ian state-spon­sored cyber oper­a­tion tar­get­ing the 2020 US pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. Accord­ing to the Cyber­scoop report:

Feb­ru­ary 2, 2022: The State Depart­ment is offer­ing a $10 mil­lion reward for infor­ma­tion on two Iran­ian hack­ers who alleged­ly par­tic­i­pat­ed in state-spon­sored cyber oper­a­tions designed to inter­fere with the 2020 U.S. pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. The two indi­vid­u­als, Seyyed Moham­mad Hosein Musa Kaze­mi, 24, and Saj­jad Kashi­an, 27, were charged with com­put­er fraud, vot­er intim­i­da­tion and trans­mis­sion of inter­state threats accord­ing to a fed­er­al indict­ment unsealed in Novem­ber. The activ­i­ty took place between August 2020 and Novem­ber 2020. The State Depart­ment is offer­ing the reward under its “Rewards for Jus­tice” pro­gram, which has post­ed equal boun­ties for infor­ma­tion about ran­somware groups Dark­Side and REvil. The indict­ment of the Ira­ni­ans paint­ed a pic­ture of an exten­sive oper­a­tion aimed at foment­ing par­ti­san divides ahead of the 2020 elec­tion. The cam­paign includ­ed alleged­ly send­ing threat­en­ing emails to Flori­da Democ­rats aimed at intim­i­dat­ing them into vot­ing for Trump, while pos­ing as the right-wing nation­al­ist group Proud Boys. U.S. intel­li­gence quick­ly deemed that the emails were cre­at­ed by spoof­ing legit­i­mate domains and were part of a for­eign inter­fer­ence effort.

Read the rest here.

The announce­ment of the US  reward can be found here.

GIOR report­ed on the hack­ers’ indict­ment in Novem­ber 2021.

Iran is one of the most active influ­ence actors in its use of hack­ers and oth­er cyber oper­a­tions. The coun­try also employs an exten­sive net­work of affil­i­at­ed groups and orga­ni­za­tions such as the Islam­ic Cen­ter of Eng­land. Iran also funds PressTV, a glob­al media oper­a­tion sup­port­ing its goals.