Nepal | March 31, 2020

Microsoft says Iran-linked hackers targeted businesses

Microsoft logo

The Microsoft logo is pictured ahead of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain February 24, 2019. Photo: Reuters

REDMOND, WASHINGTON: Microsoft has detected cyber attacks linked to Iranian hackers that targeted thousands of people at more than 200 companies over the past two years.

That’s according to a Wall Street Journal report Wednesday that the hacking campaign stole corporate secrets and wiped data from computers.

Microsoft told the Journal the cyber attacks affected oil-and-gas companies and makers of heavy machinery in several countries, including Saudi Arabia, Germany, the United Kingdom, India and the US, and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.

Microsoft attributed the attacks to a group it calls Holmium, and which other security researchers call APT33. Microsoft says it detected Holmium targeting more than 2,200 people with phishing emails that can install malicious code.

A call seeking comment from Iran’s mission to the UN wasn’t immediately returned Wednesday.

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