U.S. officials say they believe the Obama administration was recently targeted in a cyberhack conducted by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, an elite branch of the country’s military.
“U.S. officials were among many who were targeted by recent cyberattacks,” one official told The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday evening. The hacks were thought to include the email and social-media accounts of administration officials.
While the White House has refused to comment directly on the accusations, the report is the latest incident thought to reflect a push by Iran’s hardliners to weaken or scuttle the nuclear deal the country signed with the United States and other world powers earlier this year.
As my colleague Krishnadev Calamur noted last week, Siamak Namazi, an Iranian American businessman, was detained while on a trip to the country. He joins Jason Rezaian, the Washington Post reporter, and at least two other Iranian Americans being held by the government. Others, including Iranian journalists and activists, have also been detained.
These developments dovetail with a ramping up of hostile rhetoric including, as Thomas Erdbrink at The New York Times details, the unveiling of anti-U.S. billboards in Tehran. On Tuesday, a knock-off Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise in Tehran was reportedly shuttered by local officials just days after it opened.