Operation Cleaver: Mass Hacking By Iranian State

Iranian hackers have been identified as the source of coordinated attacks against more than 50 targets in 16 countries, many of them corporate and government entities that manage critical energy, transportation and medical services.
According to Cylance, a security firm based in California in USA, over the course of two years Iranian hackers managed to steal confidential data from a long list of targets and in some cases infiltrated victims computer networks to such an extent that they could take over, manipulate or easily destroy data on those machines.
Cylance called the attacks “Operation Cleaver” because the word cleaver appeared often in the attackers malicious code.
The hackers used a set of tools that can spy and even shut down critical control systems and computer networks, and aimed them at targets in the United States, Canada, Israel, India, Qatar, Kuwait, Mexico, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Germany, France, England, China and South Korea. 
 
Victims of the attacks include: US Marine Corps, a major airline, a medical university, an energy company that specializes in natural gas production, a car manufacturer, a major military installation and a large military contractor. The Islamic Republic also concentrated attacks on oil and gas industries and universities in the United States, India, Israel and South Korea and managed to steal pictures, passports and specific identifying information for students and faculty. 
 
Cylance said it also collected worrying evidence of attacks on transport networks, including airlines and airports in South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Researchers said they found evidence that hackers gained complete remote access to airport gates and security control systems, “potentially allowing them to spoof gate credentials.”

  

North Korea Prime Suspect in Hacking Attack Against Sony Pictures


According to the Wall Street Journal, hackers who took Sony Pictures Entertainment’s computer systems offline used tools which were very similar to those used last year in an attack on South Korean television stations and ATMs. The similarity reinforces a suspicion among some investigators, which include Sony, the FBI and a team from the security company FireEye Inc., that North Korea played a role in the breach. 
 
Sony Pictures is investigating if the North Korean regime was behind a massive hack attack on the studio computer network. Email was damaged and four movies were leaked.
The website Re/code reported that Sony and its security consultants are exploring the possibility that hackers based in China targeted studio computers in retaliation for the upcoming release of the film  The Interview.  In this film, Seth Rogen and James Franco play journalists who arrange an interview with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, and the CIA then ask them to assassinate him.
On Friday a North Korean government website called “The Interview” an “evil act of provocation” that deserved “stern punishment.” Reportedly North Korea has organized a team of approximately 3,000 hackers to promote the Kim regime.