Iran set to build its first cyber army

Posted on February 21, 2012


Director of Iran’s Passive Defense Organization has announced plans to build the first Iranian cyber army following the successful launch of the cyber defense headquarters, Press TV reports.

“The US is downsizing its army for bigger cyber defense infrastructure. So countries like Iran also have to set up and upgrade their cyber defense headquarters and even [build] a cyber army,” Brigadier General Gholamreza Jalali said in a Press TV interview on the last day of the first national conference on cyber defense.

Jalali said Iran is one of the first countries that have been targeted by cyber attacks over the past two years, adding, “The facilities which came under attack managed to survive, which means despite the difficulties, Iran is to a great extent immune to such attacks.”

Iran launched a cyber defense headquarters some four months ago. The key task of cyber defense is to prevent computer worms or as some call it cyber weapons from breaking into or stealing data from Iran’s maximum security networks, including nuclear facilities, power plants, data centers and banks.

Iran announced last November that it had developed a software program that can control the Duqu spyware. The virus which was discovered on September 1, 2011, is a sophisticated Trojan that acts as a backdoor into a system and facilitates the theft of private intelligence.

Earlier in June 2010, Iranian officials identified another virus called Stuxnet, averting any damage to the country’s industrial sites and resources.

Stuxnet is a malware designed to infect computers using supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems made by the German company Siemens — which are favored by industries that manage water supplies, oilrigs, and power plants.

In July 2010, media reports claimed that Stuxnet had targeted industrial computers around the globe, with Iran being the main target of the attack. The reports said Iran’s newly launched Bushehr nuclear power plant was at the center of the cyber attack.