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Report: Iranian hackers still targeting US universities

Hackers (Wikimedia Commons/Released)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Government-backed Iranian hackers have targeted universities in Europe, the United States, and Australia in the past months, consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers has found, according to Dutch broadcaster NOS.

The hackers were attempting to steal academic literature and teaching materials, the NOS reported on February 14.

It said it was unclear whether the attempts to break into computer systems, including those of three Dutch universities and another higher education institution, were successful.

A year ago, the United States charged nine Iranian citizens over their alleged involvement in a state-sponsored large-scale hacking and intellectual property theft scheme.

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The U.S. Treasury Department also slapped sanctions on 10 individuals and an Iranian company, which it accused of hacking hundreds of universities on behalf of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. Tehran rejected the accusations as “false.”

“We can see from the infrastructure they use that the same group of attackers is still active,” NOS quoted Gerwin Naber of PwC Netherlands as saying.

“At least they were still busy in November,” Naber added.