Google said that it has discovered a “state-sponsored phishing attack” that he is connected to the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting.
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Google said that it has discovered a “state-sponsored phishing attack” which is connected with the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), which was also the first time that the tech giant has found a direct link between the iranian state media misinformation and attacks.
In a blog post Thursday, the company said it had found a number of different YouTube channels, blogs, and Google+ accounts that are linked to the campaign of IRIB.
“We have identified and terminated some of the accounts are linked to the IRIB organization that disguise their connection with this effort, such as in parts of the English-language political content in the U.S.,” Google’s Kent Walker, senior vice president of Global Affairs, wrote in the post.
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Walker says that the three important pieces of evidence gave the company the confidence of the attack was carried out by the IRIB:
– “Technical data in connection with these actors is strongly linked to the official IRIB IP address space.”
– “The property of the domain, information about these actors is strongly linked to IRIB account information.”
– “Account metadata and subscriber information in connection with these actors is strongly linked to the corresponding information in connection with the IRIB, with mention of the common ownership and control.”
The violations were found in “39 YouTube channels that had 13,466 total u.s. views on relevant videos; six blogs on Blogger and 13 Google+ accounts.
Walker added that the company had worked with cybersecurity company FireEye on the “influence operation,” noting that FireEye specifically identified “a number of suspicious Google accounts”, which the company then turns off.
The full 20-page report from FireEye can be found here.
Walker also wrote that the advertising giant, which has come under scrutiny in recent days for the tracking of users without notice, is working with the AMERICAN legislators and the judiciary about the findings of the investigation, “including the relationship with the political content in the United States.”
The news comes just days after Facebook said it is removed 652 pages, groups and accounts linked to Iran for the “coordinated authentic behavior” — including the sharing of political material — and had also removed other pages tied to the Russian military intelligence.
In a statement, the social network said that the activity originating in Iran and the activity coming from Russia were not related. He also said that it was not aware of any activity of the Russia-based accounts that focused on American users.
Fox News’ Samuel Chamberlain contributed to this report. Follow Chris Ciaccia on Twitter @Chris_Ciaccia