Cyberwarfare in Iran

Cyberwarfare in Iran is a part of Iran's “Soft war” military strategy. Being both a victim and predator of cyberwarfare,[1] Iran is considered an emerging military power in the field.[2]

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.[3]

According to a 2014 report by Institute for National Security Studies, Iran is "one of the most active players in the international cyber arena".[4] In 2013, a Revolutionary Guards general stated that Iran has “the 4th biggest cyber power among the world’s cyber armies.”[5]

Attacks against Iran

In June 2007, Iran was the victim of a cyber-attack when its nuclear facility in Natanz was infiltrated by the cyber-worm ‘Stuxnet’.[6] Reportedly a combined effort by the United States and Israel,[7] Stuxnet destroyed perhaps over 1000 nuclear centrifuges and, according to a Business Insider article, "[set] Tehran's atomic programme back by at least two years."[8] 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.[6] No government has claimed responsibility for the worm.[8]


In October 2013, media reported Mojtaba Ahmadi, who served as commander of the "Cyber War Headquarters" was found dead wounded by bullets in Karaj.[9]

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.[8] The conflict between Iran and the United States as been called "history’s first known cyber-war" by Michael Joseph Gross mid-2013.[10]

A National Security Agency document leaked by Edward Snowden, reveals that Iranians may have learned from advanced sophisticated cyber-attacks by United States against them.[11]


See also

alleged operations and malwares against Iran
alleged operations and malwares by Iran


  1. Joshi, Shashank. "Iran, the Mossad and the power of cyber-warfare". Retrieved March 18, 2015.
  2. "Iran's military is preparing for cyber warfare". The Telegraph. October 3, 2013. Retrieved March 18, 2015.
  3. Bastani, Hossein (December 13, 2012). "Structure of Iran's Cyber Warfare". Institut Français d’Analyse Stratégique. Retrieved March 18, 2015.
  4. 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.
  5. "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.
  6. 1 2 "Stuxnet and the Future of Cyber War". James P. Farwell and Rafal Rohozinski. Check date values in: |access-date= (help);
  7. Sanger, David E. (1 June 2012). "Obama Order Sped Up Wave of Cyberattacks Against Iran". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  8. 1 2 3 "US General: Iran's Cyber War Machine 'A Force To Be Reckoned With'". Business Insider. Retrieved January 2013. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  9. McElroy, Damien (October 2, 2013). "Iranian cyber warfare commander shot dead in suspected assassination". The Telegraph. Retrieved March 18, 2015.
  10. Silent War July 2013 Vanity Fair
  11. "Cyber-blowback: US unwittingly 'taught' advanced cyber-warfare to Iran, N. Korea". Russia Today. October 2, 2013. Retrieved February 13, 2015.
  12. Joeph Marks (22 April 2015). "Iran launched major cyberattacks on the Israeli Internet". Politico. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  13. Micah Halpern (22 April 2015). "Iran Flexes Its Power by Transporting Turkey to the Stone Age". Observer. Retrieved 27 April 2015.

External links

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