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HBO Hacker Linked to Iranian Spy Group

A man accused by U.S. authorities of hacking into the systems of HBO and attempting to extort millions of dollars from the company has been linked by security researchers to an Iranian cyber espionage group tracked as Charming Kitten.

Security firm ClearSky has published a new report detailing the activities of Charming Kitten, which is also known as Newscaster and NewsBeef. The threat actor has been active since at least 2014 and it has targeted numerous entities in Iran, the U.S., Israel, the U.K. and other countries. Its attacks have often been aimed at individuals involved in academic research, human rights and the media.

The ClearSky report describes the group’s activities during 2016-2017, including the infrastructure used and a new piece of malware named DownPaper. It also details the connection between the individual accused of hacking HBO and Charming Kitten, and reveals the identities of two other alleged members of the group.

Behzad Mesri, also known as Skote...(continued)

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