The New York State Department of Financial Services ("NYDFS") urged regulated financial institutions to prepare for cyberattacks originating from the Iranian government.
Noting Iran's vow to retaliate against the United States for the death of Qassem Soleimani, the NYDFS stated there is "a heightened risk of cyber attacks from hackers affiliated with the Iranian government." The NYDFS also noted a U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency advisory issued in June 2019 warning of a rise in malicious Iranian cyber activity.
According to the NYDFS, typical Iranian-sponsored hacking tactics include (i) email phishing, (ii) credential stuffing, (iii) password spraying and (iv) the targeting of unpatched devices. The NYDFS "strongly recommend[ed]" that financial institutions prepare for such tactics by:
addressing all vulnerabilities, especially any publicly disclosed vulnerabilities;
ensuring that employees know how to respond to phishing attacks;
fully implementing multifactor authentication;
reviewing and updating disaster recovery plans;
quickly responding to any further alerts; and
ensuring that any alerts or incidents - particularly those occurring after regular business hours - are quickly addressed.
In the event of a cyberattack, the NYDFS urged financial institutions to report the incident within 72 hours.
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