Secret files show alleged Iranian plans to sink ships using cyberattacks

Classified documents, allegedly from Iran, reveal secret research into how a cyber attack could be used to sink a cargo ship or blow up a fuel pump at a petrol station.

The internal files, obtained by Sky News, also include information on satellite communication devices used by the global shipping industry as well as a computer-based system that controls things like lights, heating and ventilation in smart buildings across the world.

The papers appear to reveal a particular interest in researching companies and activities in western countries, including the UK, France and the United States.

A security source with knowledge of the 57-page bundle of five research reports said it was compiled by a secret, offensive cyber unit called Shahid Kaveh, which is part of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) cyber command.

The source said he believed the work is evidence of efforts by Iran to collect intelligence on civilian infrastructure that could be used to identify targets for future cyber attacks.

“They are creating a target bank to be used whenever they see fit,” said the source, who requested anonymity to be able to talk about the documents.

The Iranian embassy in London did not respond to a request for comment on the allegations.

A growing number of countries, including the UK, possess cyber weapons and are working to develop new offensive capabilities.

The work is typically top secret.

So it is highly unusual to see documented evidence allegedly of cyber research by a state.


Each of the five reports are marked ‘very confidential’.

Towards the top of most of the files is a quote, which appears to be from Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei. It reads: “The Islamic Republic of Iran must become among the world’s most powerful in the area of cyber.” The security source describes the quote as like a “commander’s statement of intent”.

The reports are compiled by a cell called Intelligence Team 13. The source with knowledge of the files refers to them as Intelligence Group 13 and said it is a sub-group within the IRGC Shahid Kaveh unit, under an individual he named as Hamid Reza Lashgarian.

Source:  Sky News

Also Read: Iran ‘giving Hezbollah cyber training’ as it embraces digital warfare

Latest news
Related news