Two Iranian hackers charged in sprawling effort to interfere in 2020 U.S. election

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Nov 18, 2021 | CYBERSCOOP

Two Iranian nationals engaged in a sprawling effort to interfere in the 2020 U.S. elections — including by gaining access to confidential voter information from at least one state election website and attempting to access 11 states in total — according to a federal indictment unsealed Thursday.

The defendants, Seyyed Mohammad Hosein Musa Kazemi, 24, and Sajjad Kashian, 27, face charges of computer fraud, voter intimidation and transmission of interstate threats for the activity, which occurred between August 2020 and November 2020.

The U.S. Treasury Department announced sanctions against six Iranians and one Iranian company shortly after the charges were unsealed. The two suspects indicted Thursday were among them.

The two men worked for an Iranian cyber company called Emennet Pasargad, which had been previously sanctioned by the U.S. government under its former name, Net Peygard Samavat Company, for prior work with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Electronic Warfare and Cyber Defense Organization.

The company’s manager, Mohammed Bagher Shirinkar, who had also previously been sanctioned, faces new sanctions, along with three people who serve on the company’s board of directors.

Part of the campaign was allegedly sending emails to Democratic voters

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