CISA, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), National Security Agency (NSA), U.S. Cyber Command (USCC) – Cyber National Mission Force (CNMF), Department of the Treasury, Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (CCCS), and United Kingdom’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) have released a joint Cybersecurity Advisory (CSA), Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Affiliated Cyber Actors Exploiting Vulnerabilities for Data Extortion and Disk Encryption for Ransom Operations. This advisory updates previous joint reporting from November 2021, to highlight continued malicious cyber activity by advanced persistent threat (APT) actors that the authoring agencies now assess are associated with the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
The authoring agencies urge network defenders to examine their current cybersecurity posture and apply the recommended mitigations in this joint CSA, which include:
- Patch all systems and prioritize remediating known exploited vulnerabilities.
- Enforce multifactor authentication (MFA).
- Secure Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) and other risky services.
- Make offline backups of your data.
See Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Affiliated Cyber Actors Exploiting Vulnerabilities for Data Extortion and Disk Encryption for Ransom Operations and joint CSA Iranian Government-Sponsored APT Cyber Actors Exploiting Microsoft Exchange and Fortinet Vulnerabilities in Furtherance of Malicious Activities for information on these Iranian government-sponsored APT actors’ tactics and techniques, indicators of compromise, and recommended mitigations. Additionally, review StopRansomware.gov for more guidance on ransomware protection, detection, and response.
For more information on state-sponsored Iranian malicious cyber activity, see CISA’s Iran Cyber Threat Overview and Advisories webpage.