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Iranians Stalked U.S. Officials in Three-Year Hack, Report Says

An Iranian hacking network is behind an elaborate three-year campaign to use social networks to strike up friendships with U.S. lawmakers, defense contractors and at least one four-star general, and then extract data from them, according to a new report.

Such an effort, if linked to Iran’s government, would indicate that Tehran is seeking to mount large-scale hacking efforts to rival those of the U.S. and China. Yet the recent and at times sloppy attempt, as outlined in a report released today by Dallas-based cybersecurity company iSight Partners, also provides a window on a cyberspying operation with lapses in sophistication but vast scope and a clever leveraging of victims’ exposure to social media.