via Federal News Radio
Iranian hackers working for the powerful Revolutionary Guard’s paramilitary Basij group have launched attacks on websites of the “enemies,” a state-owned newspaper reported Monday in a rare acknowledgment from Iran that it’s involved in cyber warfare.
The report followed an announcement in January that Iran had formed its first cyber police unit in an attempt by authorities to gain an edge in the digital world.
The Internet has also been a key outlet for Iran’s opposition since the 2009 disputed presidential election. In addition, Iran has been trying to boost its web defenses after the Stuxnet computer worm made its way into computers involved with the country’s controversial nuclear program.
Gen. Ali Fazli, acting commander of the Basij, was quoted by state-owned IRAN paper as saying Iran’s cyber army is made up of university teachers, students and clerics. He said its attacks were a retaliation for similar attacks on Iran, according to the semi-official Mehr news agency. There were no further details about the possible targets or the time of the attacks.
“As there are cyber attacks on us, so is our cyber army of the Basij, which includes university instructors and students, as well as clerics, attacking websites of the enemy,” Fazli said. “Without resorting to the power of the Basij, we would not have been able to monitor and confront our enemies.”