How Pro-Iran Hackers Spoofed FP and the News Media
A new report by Citizen Lab sheds light on a sophisticated disinformation campaign that aims to spread Iranian propaganda by promoting articles on spoofed news websites through phony Twitter accounts.
The ongoing campaign, dubbed “Endless Mayfly,” started in 2016 and involved at least 11 fake Twitter personas that targeted journalists and analysts with links to websites made to look like popular news outlets that contained fake news stories discrediting Saudi Arabia, Israel and other adversaries of the Iranian regime. Once a fake article began to be shared on social media, the threat actors would delete the fake websites in order to prevent the story from being identified as part of a wider disinformation effort.
The researchers conclude “with moderate confidence that Iran or an Iran-aligned actor” is behind the campaign. Disinformation analyst Ben Nimmo believes that Endless Mayfly and other Iranian campaigns expose Iran “as at least as significant a disinformation player as Russia.”