U.S. sanctions Iran intelligence ministry over Albania cyberattack

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Iran’s minister of intelligence, together with its Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), were sanctioned Friday by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) for malicious cyber activities that threaten the national security of the United States and its allies.

Esmail Khatib, head of the MOIS, directs networks that use cyber espionage and ransomware attacks against other governments to further Iran’s political goals, OFAC said. The regulator specifically cited the July disruption of the Albanian government’s computer systems the United States believes to have been sponsored by the Iran government and the MOIS.

Iran and its proxies, OFAC said, have engaged in “malicious cyber operations” that have targeted other governments and private organizations worldwide since at least 2007.

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