Google has announced the removal of 39 YouTube channels found by the video sharing site that were found to be spreading false information on behalf of Iran.
In addition, six blogs were removed from Google’s affiliated Blogger website.
Thirteen ” Google+ ” accounts were also found to be associated with Iran’s state broadcaster, Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting. Those too were removed as well.
The Islamic Republic and other state-sponsored bad actors working on its behalf are all accused of carrying out state-sponsored phishing attacks on the internet in America.
In an update on state-sponsored activity, Kent Walker, senior vice-president of Google’s Global Affairs, wrote in a blog post that the internet giant’s threat analysis group is working with Jigsaw and Google’s Trust & Safety team to identify bad actors and disable their accounts.
For the last two months, he wrote, Google and Jigsaw have worked with FireEye (cybersecurity group) on an influence operation linked to Iran.
“We’re grateful to FireEye for identifying some suspicious Google accounts… which we swiftly disabled,” Walker wrote.
The full report by FireEye, published Thursday, is “worth reading,” he added.
Google said its teams updated U.S. lawmakers and law enforcement about the results of the investigation, including its relation to political content in the United States.
“Our technical research has identified evidence that these actors are associated with the IRIB, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting,” Walker wrote. “This effort was carried out as part of the overall operations of the IRIB organization, since at least January 2017. This finding is consistent with internet activity we’ve warned about in recent years from Iran.
“We identified and terminated a number of accounts linked to the IRIB organization that disguised their connection to this effort, including while sharing English-language political content in the U.S. Our investigations on these topics are ongoing and we will continue to share our findings with law enforcement and other relevant government entities in the U.S. and elsewhere, as well as with others in the industry.”