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The United States announced on Friday new sanctions against Iran targeting in particular the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security, accused of being responsible for the massive cyberattack that targeted Albania in July.
“We will not tolerate Iran’s increasingly aggressive cyber activities, which target the United States and its allies and partners,” U.S. Treasury Undersecretary Brian Nelson said Friday. a statement announcing sanctions mainly targeting the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and its minister, Esmail Khatib.
Iran’s cyber attack against Albania disregards norms of responsible peacetime State behavior in cyberspace. We will not tolerate Iran’s increasingly aggressive cyber activities targeting the United States or our allies and partners. https://t.co/Ty0ca4RYY5
— Under Secretary Brian Nelson (@UnderSecTFI) September 9, 2022
Albania, a member of NATO, said it suffered massive cyberattacks in July attributed by Washington and Tirana to Iran. Tirana has since severed diplomatic relations with Tehran.
According to Tirana, the Balkan country suffered a “heavy cyberattack against the Albanian government’s digital infrastructure aimed at destroying them” on July 15, but which “failed”. Iran called Albania’s accusations “baseless”.
The MuddyWater network in the crosshairs
According to the US Treasury, Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security oversees several cyber espionage and hacking networks around the world. Washington cites one in particular, named “MuddyWater” (“troubled waters”), which has been carrying out cyberattacks since 2018, taking advantage of the vulnerability of foreign computer systems to monopolize sensitive data.
The sanctions provided for include freezing all assets and property owned by designated persons in the United States and prohibiting American companies, including banks, from doing business with them.
The day before, the United States had announced other sanctions against the Revolutionary Guards and several Iranian companies involved in the delivery of combat drones to Russia for deployment in the Ukrainian conflict. .