Iran Sponsors Massive Hack Seeking 'Embarrassing' Info ahead of Lebanon's 2018 Polls

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Iran Sponsors Massive Hack Seeking 'Embarrassing' Info ahead of Lebanon's 2018 Polls

Iran is planning to influence Lebanon's next parliamentary polls through large-scale cyberpiracy operations inspired by the methods used by Russia to affect the presidential elections in the United States.

Le Figaro newspaper revealed that a group of Iranian hackers had targeted the personal email accounts of both President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Saad Hariri during the recent crisis caused by the unexpected resignation of Hariri in Riyadh, as well as those of the ministers of Justice and Foreign Affairs, the army and several Lebanese banks.

"Iran's Oilrig group has been hacking Lebanese servers for six months. They have had access to the e-mail accounts of PM Saad Hariri and President Michel Aoun. As the parliamentary elections are approaching in Lebanon, the intention is clear: try to weigh on the ballot and give a boost to Hezbollah by collecting embarrassing information on its rivals," a Western intelligence source told the prominent French newspaper.

Since its birth in late 2015, OilRig has become one of the most active hacking organizations to be sponsored by the Iranian government, according to cybersecurity experts and to U.S. and Israeli intelligence firms.

"These are not isolated hackers who are playing on their computers. These are coordinated cyber attacks being carried out on a strategic level", he added.