Cyberwarfare and Iran
Since November 2010, an organization called "The Cyber Defense Command" (Persian: قرارگاه دفاع سایبری; Gharargah-e Defa-e Saiberi) has been operating in Iran under the supervision of the country's "Passive Civil Defense Organization" (Persian: سازمان پدافند غیرعامل; Sazeman-e Padafand-e Gheyr-e Amel) which is itself a subdivision of the Joint Staff of Iranian Armed Forces.
According to a 2014 report by Institute for National Security Studies, Iran is "one of the most active players in the international cyber arena". In 2013, a Revolutionary Guards general stated that Iran has "the 4th biggest cyber power among the world's cyber armies."
Attacks against Iran
In June 2010, Iran was the victim of a cyber-attack when its nuclear facility in Natanz was infiltrated by the cyber-worm 'Stuxnet'. Reportedly a combined effort by the United States and Israel, Stuxnet destroyed perhaps over 1,000 nuclear centrifuges and, according to a Business Insider article, "[set] Tehran's atomic programme back by at least two years." The worm spread beyond the plant to allegedly infect over 60,000 computers, but the government of Iran indicates it caused no significant damage. Iran crowdsourced solutions to the worm and is purportedly now better positioned in terms of cyber warfare technology. No government has claimed responsibility for the worm.
- In October 2013, media reported Mojtaba Ahmadi, who served as commander of the "Cyber War Headquarters" was found dead wounded by bullets in Karaj.
- November 2018: The Iranian telecommunication minister Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi accuses Israel of a failed cyberattack on its telecommunications infrastructure, and vows to respond with legal action.
Attacks by Iran
The Iranian government has been accused by western analysts of its own cyber-attacks against the United States, Israel and Persian Gulf Arab countries, but deny this, including specific allegations of 2012 involvement in hacking into American banks. The conflict between Iran and the United States has been called "history's first known cyber-war" by Michael Joseph Gross mid-2013.
- August 2014: An IDF official told press in that Iran has launched numerous significant attacks against Israel's Internet infrastructure.
- 31 March 2015: Iranian hackers, possibly Iranian Cyber Army pushed a massive power outage for 12 hours in 44 of 81 provinces of Turkey, holding 40 million people. Istanbul and Ankara were among the places suffering blackout.
- June 2017: The Daily Telegraph reported that intelligence officials concluded that Iran was responsible for a cyberattack on the British Parliament lasting 12 hours that compromised around 90 email accounts of MPs. The motive for the attack is unknown but experts suggested that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps could be using cyberwarfare to undermine the Iran nuclear deal.
Suspended Iranian accounts
On May 5, 2020, Reuters reported, quoting a monthly Facebook report, that Iranian state-run media had targeted hundreds of fake social media accounts to covertly spread pro-Iranian messaging, online since at least 2011, for secretly broadcasting online promotional messages in favor of Iran in order targeting voters in countries including Britain and the United States. Accounts suspended for so-called “coordinated inauthentic behavior", which removed eight networks in recent weeks, including one with links to the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting.
- Alleged operations and malware against Iran
- Alleged operations and malware by Iran
- Foreign interference in the 2020 United States elections
- Operation Ababil
- Operation Newscaster
- Operation Cleaver
- Yemen Cyber Army
- Syrian Electronic Army
- Joshi, Shashank. "Iran, the Mossad and the power of cyber-warfare". Retrieved March 18, 2015.
- "Iran's military is preparing for cyber warfare". The Telegraph. October 3, 2013. Retrieved March 18, 2015.
- Bastani, Hossein (December 13, 2012). "Structure of Iran's Cyber Warfare". Institut Français d’Analyse Stratégique. Retrieved March 18, 2015.
- Siboni, Gabi; Kronenfeld, Sami (April 3, 2014). "Developments in Iranian Cyber Warfare, 2013–2014". INSS Insight. Institute for National Security Studies. Retrieved March 18, 2015.
- "Israeli Think Tank Acknowledges Iran as Major Cyber Power, Iran Claims its 4th Biggest Cyber Army in World". Hack Read. October 18, 2013. Retrieved March 18, 2015.
- "Stuxnet and the Future of Cyber War". James P. Farwell and Rafal Rohozinski.
- Sanger, David E. (1 June 2012). "Obama Order Sped Up Wave of Cyberattacks Against Iran". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
- "US General: Iran's Cyber War Machine 'A Force To Be Reckoned With'". Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-11-14.
- McElroy, Damien (October 2, 2013). "Iranian cyber warfare commander shot dead in suspected assassination". The Telegraph. Retrieved March 18, 2015.
- "Silent War" July 2013 Vanity Fair
- Joeph Marks (22 April 2015). "Iran launched major cyberattacks on the Israeli Internet". Politico. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
- Micah Halpern (22 April 2015). "Iran Flexes Its Power by Transporting Turkey to the Stone Age". Observer. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
- "Iran blamed for cyberattack on Parliament that hit dozens of MPs, including Theresa May". The Telegraph. 14 October 2017.
- "Facebook says it dismantles disinformation network tied to Iran's state media". REUTERS. 5 May 2020.