Nov 17 (Reuters) – A hacking group “sponsored” by Iran’s government is launching disruptive cyber attacks against a wide range of U.S. companies, including healthcare providers and transportation firms, according to a cyber security alert published by the U.S. Homeland Security Department (DHS) on Wednesday.
The warning, jointly authored by the FBI and DHS’ Cyber security and Infrastructure Security Agency, said the hackers were exploiting old software vulnerabilities in products made by Microsoft (MSFT.O) and Fortinet (FTNT.O) to break into victim computer networks. While the vulnerabilities were patched, some customers haven’t updated their networks.
Ransomware typically functions by encrypting a computer’s data, leaving it inaccessible until an extortion payment is sent to the hackers.
A spokesperson for Iran’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment.