Google has stated that the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) conducted a phishing attack on the company.
The attack was reportedly sponsored by the Iranian government itself. This is the first time that Google has found a link between misinformation attacks and the state’s media.
The company notified users of the attack through a blog post. Google stated that the IRIB attempted to access several Youtube channels, blogs, and Google plus accounts.
The post read:
We identified and terminated a number of accounts linked to the IRIB organization that disguised their connection to this effort, including while sharing English-language political content in the U.S …Technical data associated with these actors is strongly linked to the official IRIB IP address space. Domain ownership information about these actors is strongly linked to IRIB account information. Account metadata and subscriber information associated with these actors is strongly linked to the corresponding information associated with the IRIB, indicating common ownership and control.”
The attack involved 39 YouTube channels, six blogs on Blogger, and 13 Google+ accounts.
This news is oddly similar to the recent takedown of Iranian Facebook accounts which promoted fake news media and propaganda in several countries. FireEye, the company which helped identify the attackers, was involved in both cases.
This event has confirmed that cyber-attacks do not come only from Russia, as is widely believed.
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