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Fresh US sanctions against Iran for cyber attacks, Albania hack



The US Treasury Department issued fresh sanctions against Iran on Friday, designating Tehran’s minister of intelligence and the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) for cyber activities against the United States.

“Since at least 2007, the MOIS and its cyber actor proxies have conducted malicious cyber operations targeting a range of government and private-sector organizations around the world and across various critical infrastructure sectors,” the Treasury Department said.

The US also accused Iran of being behind last month’s cyberattack on Albania’s government computer systems.

“We will not tolerate Iran’s increasingly aggressive cyber activities targeting the United States or our allies and partners,” Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said.

Iran’s MOIS was designated previously for its support for terrorist groups and for being responsible for human rights abuses against Iranians.

Esmail Khatib, the head of the MOIS, was also designated on Friday. The Treasury Department accused him of being involved in the Albanian cyberattack and directing advanced persistent threat (APT) actors against US sides and Turkish government entities.

“The MOIS is being designated today pursuant to E.O. 13694, as amended, for being responsible for, or complicit in, directly or indirectly, cyber-enabled activity that is reasonably likely to result in, or has materially contributed to, a significant threat to the national security of the United States, and that have the purpose or effect of causing a significant disruption to the availability of a computer or network of computers,” the Treasury Department said.

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