Microsoft: Iran unit behind Charlie Hebdo hack-and-leak op
By FRANK BAJAK
AP Technology Writer
After the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo’s launched a cartoon contest to mock Iran’s ruling cleric, a state-backed Iranian cyber unit struck back in early January with a hack-and-leak campaign intent on striking fear with the claimed pilfering of a big subscriber database. That’s according to Microsoft security researchers. The FBI blames the same Iranian cyber operators, Emennet Pasargad, for an influence operation that sought to interfere in the 2020 U.S. presidential election. In a blog published Friday, Microsoft said the unit, posing as hacktivists, claimed to obtain personal information on 200,000 subscribers and Charlie Hebdo merchandise buyers. It leaked a 200-record sample just as the magazine’s cartoon issue was published.