Evolving Menace – Iran’s Use Of Cyber-Enabled Economic Warfare

In 2016, the industrial computer security firm MalCrawler conducted an experiment: It created an elaborate network to observe the actions and gauge the intentions of malicious cyber operators. The firm concluded that hackers from different countries typically exhibit distinct behaviors. Chinese hackers pilfered “anything that looked like novel technical information.” Russians penetrated systems, “mapping them and implanting hard-to-find backdoor access for potential future use.” In contrast, Iranian hackers sought to do “as much damage as possible.”1 This is consistent with Iranian cyber behavior: Over the past decade, the Islamic Republic has shown it will exploit deficient cyber defenses to wreak havoc on its adversaries’ networks. The regime is now bolstering its capacity to cause even greater harm in the future.

Iran Is In A Depression Due To The Currency’s Collapse And Civil Unrest

Comparatively lacking in conventional forms of military, economic, and geopolitical power, the Islamic Republic leverages asymmetric capabilities to wage war against the United States and its allies. These methods include sponsorship of terrorists and militia forces, hostage taking, overseas assassinations, ballistic missiles, and – potentially – nuclear weapons. The latest additions to this asymmetric toolkit are cyber capabilities and, specifically, cyber-enabled economic warfare – a strategy involving cyber attacks against an adversary’s economic assets in order to reduce its political and military power.2 Consistently, the evidence reveals that the Iranian regime and its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) are sponsoring these malicious Iranian cyber operations…

To read more visit the Foundation For Defense Of Democracies.

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