Iran-back hackers are impersonating journalists in order to carry out cyberattacks, Reuters reported Wednesday.

The news agency described a case where Iranian-born German academic Erfan Kasraie received an email on Nov. 12 from Farnaz Fassihi, an Iranian-American journalist working for the Wall Street Journal. Yet, the email seemed unprofessional, asking Kasraie “to motivate the youth of our beloved country” with his "important achievements."

A follow-up email asked Kasraie to provide a Google password to see the interview questions, a veiled attempt to break into Kasraie’s email account and steal his information. Kasraie is a frequent critic of the Iranian government.

The hackers did a poor job of researching Fassihi's background, as she no longer works for the Wall Street Journal and is now employed at the New York Times.

London-based Cybersecurity firm Certfa has claimed the hacking attempt on Kasraie was tied to Charming Kitten, an Iranian cyberespionage group. The outfit has also supposedly impersonated journalists at CNN and Deutsche Welle.

Prague-based filmmaker Hassan Sarbakhshian also received an email supposedly from Fassihi, but believed that the message was suspicious and didn’t respond.

Charming Kitten has been accused of trying to hack email accounts tied to President Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign. The group also tried to attack U.S. financial infrastructure in October 2018, likely in response to new U.S. sanctions on Iran.

U.S. officials have frequently warned of Iranian cyberattacks. There have been added concerns that Iran would step up the cyberattacks as retaliation for the U.S.-backed killing on Jan. 3 of Iranian military commander Qassim Soleimani.

"The Iranians have a deep and complex cyber capability, to be sure. Know that we have certainly considered that risk,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News in January.

Iran has also frequently targeted its regional adversary Saudi Arabia with cyberattacks, with operations aimed toward Saudi oil companies and government offices in recent years.

Iran reportedly began investing in a cyber army in 2010.