“Iran’s ban on foreign security software lowers attack risks”

Posted on February 29, 2012


If Iran bans the import of foreign software, it will decrease the potential that an aggressor can implement a back-door or other channel to disrupt services, founder of WAF Enterprises, former Director of Emerging Security Technologies at IBM mobile, Amrit Williams said.

The expert made this statement commenting on the latest news about Iran’s ban on import of foreign computer software.

“It is a good idea for any sovereign country to be as much self-reliant as possible,” Williams said. “It is important, especially if there is a regime that is moving toward isolation against cooperation with the global community”.

Not long ago, Iran announced that it has prohibited import of foreign computer security software. Iran’s Information and Communications Technology Minister Reza Taghipour said that Iran will rely on its own software, made by local developers.

Taghipour added that domestic security programs have been improving, and Iran will use them, instead of foreign security software, which cannot be trusted.

Williams believes that most of the security assets the Iranians use would not be made from scratch, but rather developed based on the reverse-engineering of existing technologies.

“The technology would be developed internally to ensure no backdoors or other nefarious interlopers, but still provide similar protections enjoyed by more technically advanced countries, such as the U.S.,” the expert explained.

Iran not only has to deal with outside virus attacks and security related issues, but with local hackers as well. According to Iran’s cyber police chief Kamal Hadyanfar, over 30 websites in Iran are hacked daily. 89 percent of the hackers in Iran are men, while 11 percent are women.

There are underage hackers in Iran as well. One of such, a 14-year old, has been caught in Iran in Jan. 2012.

“Some 73 percent of government websites in Iran are vulnerable to hacker attacks,” Hadyanfar told Mehr. “With regard to the banking sector, 60 percent of state banks and 40 percent of private banks have security holes and are also vulnerable to cyber attacks”.

“A total of 3,400 Iranian websites have been hacked in the first quarter of this year (Iranian year ends on March 21), while 3,500 website have been hacked in the second quarter, and 5,840 websites in the third quarter,” Hadyanfar added.

Williams said that although westerners have tried very hard to limit intellectual property theft and to ensure advanced technology doesn’t get into the hands of other countries, there are very few barriers to a country attempting to obtain cyber-technology and then modifying it for their use.

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