Iranian cyberspies behind major Christmas SMS spear-phishing campaign


An Iranian cyber-espionage group known as Charming Kitten (APT35 or Phosphorus) has used the recent winter holiday break to attack targets from all over the world using a very sophisticated spear-phishing campaign that involved not only email attacks but also SMS messages.

Charming Kitten has taken full advantage of this timing to execute its new campaign to maximum effect, said CERTFA, a cybersecurity organization specialized in tracking Iranian operations.

The group started the new round of attacks at a time when most companies, offices, organizations, etc. were either closed or half-closed during Christmas holidays and, as a result, their technical support and IT departments were not able to immediately review, identify, and neutralize these cyber incidents, it added.

CERTFA said it detected attacks targeting members of think tanks, political research centers, university professors, journalists, and environmental activists.

The victims were located in countries around the Persian Gulf, Europe, and the US.

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