Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign Office Minister condemns criminal actors based in Iran for cyber-attacks against UK universities
The UK and its allies will respond collectively to criminal cyber activity that undermines economic prosperity.
Recently (23 March 2018) the US indicted nine employees of the Mabna Institute based in Iran for a global hacking campaign targeting universities, including in the UK.
Foreign Office Minister for Cyber, Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon recently said:
The UK Government judges that the Mabna Institute based in Iran was responsible for a hacking campaign targeting universities around the world.
By stealing intellectual property from universities, these hackers attempted to make money and gain technological advantage at our expense.
We welcome the US indictments. It demonstrates our willingness and ability to respond collectively to cyber-attacks using all levers at our disposal.
The focus on universities is a timely reminder that all organisations are potential targets and need to constantly strive for the best possible cyber security.
Today’s action is a further step demonstrating that malicious cyber activity will not go unpunished. Mabna Institute employees can no longer travel freely, curtailing their career prospects outside of Iran.
Notes for editors
The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre assesses with high confidence that the Mabna Institute are almost certainly responsible for a multi-year Computer Network Exploitation (CNE) campaign targeting universities in the UK, the US, as well as other Western nations, primarily for the purposes of intellectual property (IP) theft. The recent action comes after US law enforcement indicted other employees of the Mabna Institute in November 2017 for the hack and leak operation against TV company HBO.
- Follow Foreign Office Minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on Twitter @tariqahmadbt
- Follow the Foreign Office on Twitter @foreignoffice and Facebook
- Follow the Foreign Office on Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn
Newsdesk 020 7008 3100
Latest News from
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Government welcomes conference for Libya in Palermo14/11/2018 14:20:00
FCO statement following the Italian conference for the future of Libya held in Palermo on 13th November 2018, attended by Minister Burt.
Effective Governance in Iraq14/11/2018 13:47:00
Statement given recently (12 November 2018) by Stephen Hickey, UK Political Coordinator to the UN, at the Security Council Briefing on Iraq.
Foreign Secretary: building blocks for Yemen solution are in view14/11/2018 10:25:00
Jeremy Hunt has returned from meetings in Saudi Arabia and the UAE on the situation in Yemen.
Minister for Africa condemns latest terrorist violence in Somalia13/11/2018 16:25:00
Minister Harriett Baldwin gave a statement on the 9 November 2018 terrorist attacks in Mogadishu.
Inside the Foreign Office: BBC series 201813/11/2018 14:25:00
During November, the BBC will broadcast 3 programmes that give an insight into the work of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.
UK condemns illegitimate “elections” held in the Donbas, Ukraine13/11/2018 12:25:00
FCO condemns illegitimate and unlawful “elections” held in the Donbas and calls on Russia to withdraw its military forces from Ukrainian territory.
FCO Minister reaffirms UK’s commitment to Vietnam12/11/2018 16:43:00
FCO Minister of State for Asia and Pacific, Mark Field has reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to Vietnam marking 45 years of UK-Vietnam diplomatic relations
Foreign Secretary travels to the Gulf to push for end to Yemen bloodshed12/11/2018 14:43:00
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt will visit Saudi Arabia and the UAE today [Monday 12 November] to press for an end to the bloodshed in Yemen.
Acting with Unity12/11/2018 10:25:00
Statement given recently by Ambassador Karen Pierce, UK Permanent Representative to the UN, at the Security Council Open Debate on Maintenance of Peace and Security – Strengthening the Role of Multilateralism and the United Nations.
Foreign Secretary Lends Support to Military Charity Campaign to Honour Commonwealth Soldiers09/11/2018 16:33:00
To mark the centenary of the First World War, the Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt will lend his support to the forces charity There But Not There to honour the over three million Commonwealth soldiers, sailors, airmen and labour corp who served.