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Iranian cyberspies use multi-persona impersonation in phishing threads

One of the most prolific state-sponsored Iranian cyber espionage groups is targeting researchers from different fields by setting up sophisticated spear-phishing lures in which they use multiple fake personas inside the same email thread for increased credibility.

Security firm Proofpoint tracks the group as TA453, but it overlaps with activity that other companies have attributed to Charming Kitten, PHOSPHORUS and APT42. Incident response company Mandiant recently reported with medium confidence that APT42 operates on behalf of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)’s Intelligence Organization (IRGC-IO) and specializes in highly targeted social engineering.

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