Google Probably Found Iran's Pre-Election Phishing Scheme

Abby Ohlheiser
Google Probably Found Iran's Pre-Election Phishing Scheme

Iran may have targeted tens of thousands of Iranians with a phishing scheme in the weeks leading up to Friday's elections, according to an announcement by Google on Wednesday. The tech company flagged a series of email campaigns that, due to their timing, seem "politically motivated." 

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The "multiple email-based phishing campaigns" spotted by Google originate from Iran, and target Iranians. They posted a photo of one of the emails on their security blog: 

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Iran will elect the successor to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Friday, so the timing of the scheme is pretty suspicious. 

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Of course, this isn't the first time Google's spoken up about possible Iranian shenanigans: in 2011, the company discovered that a Dutch website certification company had been compromised, putting the Google accounts of many Iranians at risk. And as TechCrunch notes, it looks like whoever is behind the 2011 attack is the same group behind the recent scheme, too. And the bulk of the evidence suggests Iranian involvement or cooperation with the hacking group. 

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In any case, Google obviously suggests using more of their products to protect against becoming the subjects of covert surveillance efforts, unless, of course, they're complying with an order to hand over your data