The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has sanctioned Iranian officials linked to cyber activities against critical infrastructure in the United States and other countries.
The six individuals in question were part of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Cyber-Electronic Command (IRGC-CEC), an Iranian government organization.
All individuals have been added to the Specially Designated Nationals And Blocked Persons List (SDN) and their properties and financial assets have been held by the OFAC as part of the counterterrorism authority Executive Order (E.O.).
According to the note published by the OFAC, Hamid Reza Lashgarian, head of the IRGC-CEC and a commander in the IRGC-Qods Force, has been a part of IRGC cyber and intelligence operations in the past.
The other six persons are all senior officials of the IRGC; Mahdi Lashgarian, Hamid Homayunfal, Milad Mansuri, Mohammad Bagher Shirinkar, and Reza Mohammad Amin Saberian.
Treasury sanctioned six officials in the IRGC’s Cyber-Electronic Command. Today’s sanctions reinforce our commitment to protecting America’s critical infrastructure from foreign adversaries like Iran. https://t.co/SvxCPntSJW
— Treasury Department (@USTreasury) February 2, 2024
The accused are reported to have hacked portable logic controllers produced by Israeli company Unitronics.
The United States, with Private Sector companies and the countries impacted, worked to minimize the damage to critical water systems that had been compromised.
Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Brian E. Nelson said that “the deliberate targeting of critical infrastructure by Iranian cyber actors is an unconscionable and dangerous act.”
The public services that had been hacked received minimum impact, but it has left the United States concerned that these infrastructure services have been targeted.
“The United States will not tolerate such actions and will use the full range of our tools and authorities to hold the perpetrators to account,” Nelson concluded.
In other U.S. security news, the FBI has foiled an attempt by a Chinese hacker group known as Volt Typhoon. The hackers have targeted U.S. routers in homes and small businesses as part of a wider botnet.
Last week, Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco announced that “in wiping out the KV Botnet from hundreds of routers nationwide, the Department of Justice is using all its tools to disrupt national security threats – in real-time.”
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