US ties Iranian intelligence to hacking group

U.S. Cyber Command on Wednesday said a hacking group known as MuddyWater is part of an Iranian intelligence agency responsible for widespread online attacks across the world.

Authorities officially labeled MuddyWater an "Iranian threat group" and identified it as part of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security, according to a press release.

The group has allegedly targeted Middle Eastern as well as European and North American nations, hacking into networks to ultimately assist the ministry's mission of surveilling opponents.

From 2013 to 2017, Iranian hackers stole $3.4 billion worth of intellectual property from 170 universities, targeted U.S. officials and journalists as well as banks in the United Kingdom and spread misinformation about its adversaries, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

The U.S. has been increasing its scrutiny of cyberattacks from abroad, especially after last year's ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline from international hacking group FIN7, which has ties to Russia.