The Iranian paramilitary “Basij” group appears to have its own cyber warfare division which is launching attacks on the websites of Iran’s “enemies.” There are many many of those, it appears. It is an arm of the world-famous “Revolutionary Guard”.
According to Associated Press, the news comes from an Iranian state-owned newspaper called IRAN and follows unofficial comments that Iran had formed its first cyber police unit.
The Iranian establishment has a bit of a problem with hackers. The Internet is the domain of those who actually don’t like the revolution that much, particularly since the 2009 dodgy election.
Iran had a kick up the bottom after the Stuxnet computer worm trashed its controversial nuclear programme.
The cyber unit is run by General Ali Fazli, who was quoted by the state-controlled press as saying the army is made up of university teachers, students and “clerics”. The newspaper is called IRAN, a bit shouty. Did we mention that already?
The thought of a priest breaking rules and causing harm to others does not really appear to have occurred to anyone. Well, other than those who play Dungeons and Dragons and people with long memories of Northern Ireland.
Fazli said that it is fair enough to retaliate for similar attacks on Iran. He added that without resorting to the power of the Basij, Iran would not have been able to monitor and confront its enemies.
So far the target is opposition websites and blogs but it is a paramilitary group so it could also attack any entity it liked. Or disliked, for that matter.