TEHRAN-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.

The NCSC discovered that the attack on the institution had been carried out by the Russian Turla group, which it realised was scanning for capabilities and tools used by Iran-based OilRig.

In an investigation that lasted months, it became clear the Russian group had targeted the Iranian-based group and then used its tools and access to collect data and compromise further systems.