Iran-linked Cyber Group Aims To Disrupt Saudi-Israeli Ties: Report

Saturday, 01/28/2023

Cyber security company Secureworks Counter Threat has reported on efforts by a group affiliated to the Islamic Republic aiming to disrupt relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel.

The threat actor known as Cobalt Sapling has been spotted creating a new persona dubbed "Abraham's Ax" to target Saudi Arabia for political leverage.

"There are clear political motivations behind this group with information operations designed to destabilize delicate Israeli-Saudi Arabian relations, particularly as Saudi Arabia continues talks with Israel on normalizing relations," said Secureworks principal researcher Rafe Pilling.

Further, the security researcher noticed that Abraham's Ax mirrors the iconography, videography and leak sites of a separate threat actor known as Moses Staff. Both groups use similar logos and a WordPress blog as the medium for their leak sites.

"Iran has a history of using proxy groups and manufactured personas to target regional and international adversaries," Pilling added.

"Over the last couple of years, an increasing number of criminal and hacktivist group personas have emerged to target perceived enemies of Iran while providing plausible deniability to the Government of Iran regarding association or responsibility for these attacks. This trend is likely to continue."

Considering that experts still consider the normalization between Saudi Arabia and Israel farfetched, the Islamic Republic hopes to prevent such an agreement through disruptive activities.

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