An Iranian hacking group was itself hacked by a Russian group to spy on multiple countries, UK and US intelligence agencies have revealed.
The Iranian group – codenamed OilRig – had its operations compromised by a Russian-based group known as Turla.
The Russians piggybacked on the Iranian group to target other victims.
A National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) investigation, begun in 2017 into an attack on a UK academic institution, uncovered the double-dealing.
Suspected Russia-linked hackers have attacked dozens of countries disguised as Iranian cyber spies, UK and US intelligence agencies have revealed.
This meant victims that initiated investigations to find out who targeted them would more likely blame the Iran-linked group when actually the culprit was the Russia-linked group.
Turla is accused of regularly collecting intelligence by targeting government, military, technology, energy and commercial organisations.
There is no suggestion the Iranians knew or were complicit in their systems being allegedly hacked by the Turla group.