Cyber security is currently one of the most rising industries in the world. Hackers from around the globe are constantly trying to steal others information, meddle with industries, and even provide social commentary through unique forms. With proper cyber security training and knowledge, we can put a stop to all of the illegal activity occurring every day. That being said, there’s plenty of cyber-warfare and hacker groups that are posing as threats. There’s more well-known cases like Russia’s cyber-warfare meddlers, and then there’s everyday hackers stealing credit card information. One serious threat that has been occurring over the years is Iran and a cyber warfare program that comes out of it. Iran’s history with cyber security hacking doesn’t go very far. It was only labeled as a threat a couple years after Russia and China’s initial outbreak. While Iran’s hacking group has showed less talent than the bigger threats in the world, it still poses as a serious, up and coming, threat. Iran is unique when it comes to their views on cyberattacks. They actually encourage their groups to attack against the nations they consider “enemies.”
Iran even recruits hackers for cyber attacking, and they proudly embrace their hackers who are independent, and go solo. The earliest taste of Iran’s cyberattacks were during the 2000’s. Attackers would deface sites worldwide, and most would troll the sites users. Although, there were some hackers who decided to make political statements through hacking the sites. They were providing social commentary with messages about defending their country and muslims. In 2004, a dedicated alliance called Iran Hackers Sabotage came into the scene with a mission to show the world that Iran and its people have a voice in the world of cyber security. Their web page said that they provided securement testing and reliable hosting services, but they were still known for their web defacements. For example, the group messed with the U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo home page in 2005, and replaced it with a page that defended Muslims and condemned terrorists. Throughout the years the group continued to hack and post rather harmless material. In 2008, they called it quits. There was also groups like Ashiyane Digital Security Team, who had a website that was based around teaching users how to hack. In 2009 and 2010, the group defaced many sites in France, the United Kingdom, and the United States that they deemed as “anti-Iranian.” The group was in contact with the Iranian military, but they still ran independently.
Perhaps the most threatening group is the Iranian Cyber Army. They attacked Twitter and the Voice of America after both chose to support Iran’s government and movements. They supposedly have ties with the Iranian government, and independent hacker organizations. Cyber attacks had gotten much worse by 2012. Groups were shutting down important sites and destroying their data. Attacks were even made against the Saudi Aramco oil company, to make a political statement. The hackers used wiper code to overwrite all of the information on the company’s hard drives and networks. Over 30,000 PC’s were broken down at Saudi Aramco and Qatar’s RasGas. U.S. officials targeted Iran as the attackers. More acts of sabotage followed. The dreaded Shaman malware rose back into action in 2016, and it wiped data from a lot of computers in Saudi Arabia. As for the groups who are connected with the Iranian government, they were known for doing many denial-of-service attacks, which cause traffic on sites, making them virtually unusable.
A group called Cyber Fighters of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam even attacked several popular U.S. banks. Many believe that Iran is slowly building up a cyber-warfare team with the help of other third-world countries. Even today, the Iran Nuclear Deal is getting hackers in a frenzy. As of recently, cyber-warfare groups have calmed down when it comes to berating western cultures. With all that’s going down in the global sense of it all, the United States might be Iran’s next big cyber target.