The FBI has warned US companies that Iranian hackers are searching cybercriminal websites to obtain stolen information to use in their future activities.
The warning was issued in a private industry notification, first reported by Bleeping Computer, a cybersecurity news website on Wednesday.
Iran has a strong network of state hackers who regularly target American, Israeli and other government and company computers, both for disruption and for obtaining sensitive information.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation warned that any information obtained from the dark web by Iranian hackers can be used to penetrate the networks of more organizations.
While it is not clear which Iranian group is involved in the attempt to get information from cybercriminals, the FBI warned organizations to take steps to protect themselves against future attempts by these operators who both pursue ransom and security objectives.
Some cybersecurity experts believe that targeting entities for ransom by Iranian hackers could be a tactic to blur the line between criminal and state operatives, pretending they pursue profits rather than espionage.
In late October, an Iranian hacking group called Black Shadow attacked an Israeli data and internet company, stealing a large amount of client information and demanding ransom.