A senior Iranian cyber warfare official has been assassinated, raising legitimate suspicions that foreign intelligence services were involved.
BY RYAN MAURO:
A senior Iranian cyber warfare official has been assassinated, raising legitimate suspicions that foreign intelligence services were involved. Iran’s nuclear program has been repeatedly damaged by covert operations, but this would be the first known one to target against Iran’s cyber capabilities.
The commander of Iran’s cyber warfare headquarters, Mojtaba Ahmadi was shot twice in the heart at short range. His corpse was found in woods near Karaj. The Iranian regime quickly denied that it was an assassination, saying, “The main reason of the event and the motive of the attacker have not been specified.”
A local police commander initially said that Ahmadi was killed by two people riding a motorcycle. Iranian nuclear scientists have previously died at the hands of motorcycle-riding assassins.
The Iranian regime hacked U.S. Navy computers recently and penetrated an unclassified e-mail system. Iran is also believed to be responsible for a series of attacks on the websites of U.S. banks, specifically Bank of America, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase. Its hackers have also struck U.S. energy companies.
On August 15, 2012, the Aramco oil company of Saudi Arabia was the victim of a major cyber attack. Aramco said the attackers failed to stop the flow of oil and gas, but damaged 30,000 computers, deleting the information stored on their hard drives.
“The virus erased data on three-quarters of Aramco’s corporate PCs — documents, spreadsheets, e-mails, files — replacing all of it with an image of a burning American flag,” the New York Times reported.
Aramco said the attack was launched from “several foreign countries.” The U.S. believes Iran is to blame.
A hacking group named “Cutting Sword of Justice” claimed it stole sensitive documents. The group referenced Iranian grievances,saying that it was retaliation for Saudi intervention in Bahrain and Syria.
Then, on August 27, the RasGas natural gas company based in Qatar was hit. The virus took down the company’s website and email servers for days.
The last apparent covert operation against Iran took place on May 7when explosions rocked a site linked to Iran’s ballistic missile program.
The Clarion Project is keeping track of the likely covert operations against Iran’s WMD programs.
Go to The Clarion Project to see the updated chronology.