Report: Iran-based spies created fake news organization used for espionage since 2011
In a report released this week, cyber-security firm iSight Partners has revealed that a cyber-espionage campaign was launched in 2011 by Iran-based spies, who had created a fake news organization with the objective of surveillance against US and Israeli military targets.
According to the iSight security researchers, the three-year cyber-espionage campaign launched by spies based in Iran was chiefly aimed at pilfering information from leading high-ranking US military and diplomatic officials through a comprehensive bogus online news operation.
As per the iSight report, the fake online news operation - which iSight has dubbed as 'Newscaster' - apparently makes use of "front media outlet" called NewsOnAir. org; and has targeted more than 2,000 people thus far, including senior military officers and diplomats.
About how the elaborate fake news operation was carried out, the iSight report said that bogus news stories, a fake media magnate who supposedly owned the news site on which the fake stories appeared, his fake friends, and fake reporters were all part of an extensive structure comprising fictitious personas, photos, and messages that strung across several social media sites including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Noting that the operation is seemingly going on even at present, the report said that the operation is probably being "carried out by Iranian actors, though there is a dearth of information implicating its ultimate sponsor."