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Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctions six Iranian officials

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The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has imposed sanctions on Iranian officials connected to cyber activities aimed at critical infrastructure in the United States and other nations.

The six individuals involved were affiliated with the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Cyber-Electronic Command (IRGC-CEC), a government entity in Iran.

All the individuals have been listed on the Specially Designated Nationals And Blocked Persons List (SDN) and their assets and finances have been frozen by the OFAC under the authority of the counterterrorism Executive Order (E.O.).

As per the statement released by the OFAC, Hamid Reza Lashgarian, who heads the IRGC-CEC and serves as a commander in the IRGC-Qods Force, has previously been involved in cyber and intelligence operations for the IRGC.

The other six individuals are high-ranking officials of the IRGC; Mahdi Lashgarian, Hamid Homayunfal, Milad Mansuri, Mohammad Bagher Shirinkar, and Reza Mohammad Amin Saberian.

Sensitive targets

It has been reported that the accused individuals hacked portable logic controllers manufactured by the Israeli company Unitronics.

In collaboration with private sector companies and affected nations, the United States took steps to mitigate the impact on vital water systems that had been compromised.

Brian E. Nelson, the Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, stated that “the deliberate targeting of critical infrastructure by Iranian cyber actors is an unconscionable and dangerous act.”

Although the public services that were hacked experienced minimal disruptions, it has raised concerns in the United States regarding the targeting of these essential infrastructure services.

“The United States will not tolerate such actions and will utilize all available tools and authorities to hold the perpetrators accountable,” Nelson emphasized.

In other U.S. security-related developments, the FBI thwarted an attack by a Chinese hacker group identified as Volt Typhoon. The group had been focusing on U.S. routers in residences and small businesses as part of a broader botnet scheme.

Last week, Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco announced that “by dismantling the KV Botnet affecting hundreds of routers across the country, the Department of Justice is actively disrupting national security threats.”

Image credit: Pexels

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