According to a report by cybersecurity company Proofpoint, a group of Iranian hackers TA453 posed as British academics in order to obtain confidential information from journalists, think tank experts and senior professors at London University.
It is known that the hackers posed as employees of the University of London’s SOAS School of Oriental and African Studies.
Proofpoint said that the hackers used various methods to lure information related to the Middle East. In particular, they developed a fictitious website, invited to fake conferences and contacted scientists by phone. Experts noted that hackers from the TA453 group demonstrated a passable knowledge of the English language and even wanted to contact journalists and experts by video link.
“The use of legitimate but compromised infrastructure represents an increase in TA453’s sophistication and will almost certainly be reflected in future campaigns. TA453 continues to collect data in support of IRGC priorities. Researchers, journalists and think tank staff should exercise caution and verify the identities of people offering them unique capabilities,” Proofpoint said in a statement.