Iranian Hackers Threaten 2024 US Elections, Warn Cybersecurity Firms

Friday, 02/23/2024

American cybersecurity company CrowdStrike has issued a warning regarding potential interference by Iranian state-sponsored hackers in the upcoming 2024 US elections.

In its annual report, the renowned cybersecurity firm has predicted that the Islamic Republic, known for its interest in meddling in US political events, may be planning to interfere in the forthcoming elections in the country.

The firm referred to Information Operations by Iran-backed hackers in late October 2020, a few weeks before the last US presidential election, saying that Iranian threat actors conducted varied targeted operations against US entities. “They sent threatening emails to voters, alleging to represent a far-right US political group and directing recipients to vote for a specific candidate.”

According to the report, Iranian threat actors also disseminated a video falsely alleging to show“overseas actors fabricating ballots, implying one particular political party would seek to exploit security vulnerabilities and compromise voting systems.”

The most common malicious activities targeting elections have historically involved information operations including Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks and website defacements — against state and local government entities. This trend is highly likely to continue in 2024.

The report also said that in the second half of 2023, “Iran-nexus adversaries and Middle East hacktivist adversaries were also observed pivoting cyber operations in alignment with kinetic operations stemming from the 2023 Israel-Hamas conflict.”

Although Iranian cyber operations have historically focused on Israel, the number of faketivist personas leveraged against Israeli targets has increased since the onset of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Earlier in the month, Microsoft also warned that Russia, Iran, and China are likely to plan to influence the upcoming elections in the United States and other countries in 2024.

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