Targeting of activists at Human Rights Watch, journalists, and politicians
Date of report
  • December 2022
Iran-affiliated threat actor Charming Kitten conducted a social-engineering and credential-phishing campaign targeting two Human Rights Watch staff members and at least eighteen other high-profile activists, journalists, researchers, academics, diplomats, and politicians working on Middle East issues in 2022.
Suspected victims
  • Human rights activists and journalists
Suspected state sponsor
  • Iran (Islamic Republic of)
Type of incident
  • Espionage
Target category
  • Civil society
Victim government reaction
  • Yes
Policy response
Suspected state sponsor response