Around 31 terabytes of academic research from 320 universities in the US was stolen by Iranian hackers recently. The data is said to have ended up with IRGC, which has been involved in such activities in the past as well.
The United States believes that this information was sold to different websites to earn money as it was available on two websites that had Iranian customers interested in scientific research.
The government seems to be taking strict action against hackers now. U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, Geoffrey S. Berman, stated, “We will not tolerate the theft of U.S. intellectual property or intrusion into our research institutions and universities.””
How Much Was The Information Worth?
Experts have stated that the information was highly sensitive because the hack didn’t just involve universities but also targeted private companies and government agencies as well.
The information is said to be of worth $3.4 billion as there is high demand for such data which is not only used by researchers but also by companies to target leads.
Who Were The Hackers?
The FBI recently revealed all the hackers, and all nine of them belong to Iran. They have been put on the FBI list as well.
The Trump administration accused and charged these nine hackers. They are said to be affiliated with The Mabna Institute, an Iranian company. The list also includes Behzad Mesri, who was recently in news for the HBO hack.
What Can Be Done?
Since the US has no authority to bring these Irani hackers into their courtroom, they plan on putting travel ban on these hackers and catch them if they are caught travelling abroad. Other than this, there definitely is a need to improve security so that there are no such attacks in the future.
It’s high time that not only the US but all other growing countries up their security protocols to protect sensitive data from reaching unsafe hands.