Iranian hackers managed to penetrate into LinkedIn and Facebook accounts of senior Israeli and U.S. officials and stole information from there, it was revealed by security firm iSight. The attack was carried for several years, and experts said it is considered a very complex one.
Information published by News agency Reuters stated that hackers have opened fake accounts on social networks and used them to make contact and brake into accounts of key figures from both countries – parliamentarians, journalists and members of the security forces. They acquired personal details, such as email addresses, user names, and network information that might be used to gather intelligence.
In order to trick victims and gain their trust, the attackers established fictitious social media profiles and even set up a fake news agency named NewsOnAir.org, that was run by a fake media mogul named Joseph Nielson. They took the news items from existing sites such as CNN and BBC, and to further give the agency respectability and legitimacy they even posted those reports on Twitter and other social networks. The actual quality of information that the Iranian hackers managed to achieve in the end was not published.
Tiffany Jones, senior vice president of customer service in iSight, said that “We have never seen such complex cyber espionage, broad and continuous from the Iranians. Hackers have done successful work in recent years Detailed collection of thousands of connections and eventually managed to knock people down through social networks” .