Iran's Revolutionary Guards stepped up hacking of email and social media accounts of Obama administration officials in recent weeks in cyber attacks believed linked to the arrest of an Iranian-American businessman in Tehran, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.
The newspaper, citing unnamed US officials, said people working on Iran policy appeared to be the focus of the cyber attacks, with personnel in the State Department's Office of Iranian Affairs and the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs among those hacked. Other targets included journalists and academics.
The latest reports of a surge in hacking attacks come after a landmark international agreement in July that eased severe economic sanctions on Iran in return for Tehran curbing its nuclear program to ensure it is not used for developing weapons.
The Revolutionary Guards, a powerful branch of the Iranian military, have regularly made hacking attacks on US government agencies in recent years, but a source told the Journal the hacking increased after the arrest of Siamak Namazi in mid-October.