Cyberwarfare is a part of Iran’s “soft war” military strategy and the Iranian cyber army is considered an emerging military power in the field.
Since November 2010, an organization called “The Cyber defense Command” has been operating in Iran under the supervision of the country’s “Passive Civil defense Organization” 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.”
According to a 2021 report by a cyber-security company, “Iran is running two surveillance operations in cyber-space, targeting more than 1,000 dissidents”.
The Iranian Cyber Army is an Iranian computer hacker group. It is thought to be connected to Iranian government, although it is not officially recognized as an entity by the government. It has pledged loyalty to Supreme Leader of Iran.
According to Tehran Bureau, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard initiated plans for the formation of an Iranian Cyber Army in 2005. The organization is believed to have been commanded by Mohammad Hussein Tajik until his assassination.
The group has claimed responsibility for several attacks conducted over the Internet since 2009, most notably attacks against Baidu and Twitter. The attack against Baidu resulted in the so-called Sino-Iranian Hacker War. In 2012, a group self-identified as “Parastoo” hacked the International Atomic Energy Agency’s servers: the Iranian Cyber Army is suspected of being behind the attack.
In 2013, a general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards stated that Iran had “the 4th biggest cyber power among the world’s cyber armies”, a claim supported by the Israeli Institute for National Security Studies.