U.S. Charges Hackers for Defacing Sites in Response to Killing of Qasem Soleimani


The Joint States on Tuesday announced charges against two men from Iran and Palestine accused of destroying websites in response to the killing of Qasem Soleimani.

Qassem Soleimani, a top Iranian military commander, was wreaked in early January 2020 as part of a drone strike launched by the Joint States. Many expected Iran to retaliate in cyberspace, but a majority of the bouts that were made public were website defacements, which are have regard for less sophisticated attacks.

Nevertheless, U.S. authorities have not ignored these cyberattacks and they say some of them were get went by Behzad Mohammadzadeh, aka Mrb3hz4d, who is believed to be a 19-year-old Iranian, and Marwan Abusrour, aka Mrwn007, credited to be a 25-year-old Palestinian.

The two are said to have defaced tens of websites swarmed in the United States as part of a retaliation campaign over the killing of Soleimani. Some of the impacted placements were hosted by a company based in Massachusetts, and the indictment has been registered in the District of Massachusetts.

Mohammadzadeh and Abusrour have been charged with one tally of conspiring to commit intentional damage to a protected computer and one count of intentionally pricing a protected computer. They face up to five years in prison for the beforehand charge and up to 10 years for the second charge.

Prosecutors pointed out that Mohammadzadeh has insist oned to have defaced more than 1,100 websites. His profile on Zone-H, a secondment that allows hackers to keep track of the websites they spoil, shows that he targeted 1,279 sites as of September 8. Abusrour specifies himself as a spammer, carder and black hat, claiming to have defaced done with 300 websites.

Website defaced in retaliation over killing or Iranian military commander

Mohammadzadeh and Abusrour have both been enlarged to the FBI’s Cyber’s Most Wanted list.

“The hackers victimized innocent third upholders in a campaign to retaliate for the military action that killed Soleimani, a man behind countless play the parts of terror against Americans and others that the Iranian regime opposed,” demanded Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers. “Their erroneous, illegal actions in support of a rogue, destabilizing regime will get back to haunt them, as they are now fugitives from justice.”

Joseph R. Bonavolonta, momentous agent in charge of the FBI Boston Division, noted, “These hackers are accused of orchestrating a immodest cyber-assault that defaced scores of websites across the country as a way of protesting and retaliating against the Coalesced States for killing the leader of a foreign terrorist organization. Now, they are long for by the FBI and are no longer free to travel outside Iran or Palestine without hazard of arrest.”

Related: Targeted Phishing Campaign Leverages Death of Iranian Non-exclusive Qasem Suleimani

Related: DHS Warns of Possible Iranian Cyberattacks After Carnage of Qassem Soleimani

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U.S. Charges Hackers for Defacing Sites in Response to Killing of Qasem Soleimani

Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a presenting editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years in the future starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard detains a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer touches applied in electrical engineering.

Previous Columns by Eduard Kovacs:
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