Iranian press has reported that the country’s cyber police arrested 70 hackers.
According to Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), the deputy commander of cyber police for legal and international affairs Colonel Hoseyn Ramezani, said that the cyber police carried out an operation from 10 August to 8 September 2015 to identify hackers and individuals who manage websites which provide hacking training and software.
Colonel Ramezani added that cyber police monitored more than 15000 websites and identified 104 violations. Additionally more than 70 hackers were identified and referred to the Judiciary.
It is possible that the cyber police exaggerates claims in an effort to use such propaganda to frighten the Iranian hacking community but time will tell.
Original ISNA Source
Norse Intelligence Analysis Team identified several indicators that reveal a trend of hacking groups in Middle East working closely with European hackers to share tactics and techniques for conducting attacks.
According to Norse reports this trend shows a pattern of direct and continuous contact between Middle Eastern hackers traveling to Europe to obtain training and experience then staying or returning home to begin political attacks on global targets.
Norse offers three cases to support this theory, including one case of Iranian hacking group Ashiyane Digital Security Team -ADST-.
According to Norse reports Ashiyane Digital Security Team and Romanian Security Team -RST-, which is the largest online hacker community based in Romania, have been exchanging exploit and target data.
A series of posts on the RST forum announced a list of compromised Simple Message Text Protocol -SMTP- systems. A large number of the same compromised systems appeared six months later in a post on the Ashiyane forum from a hacker, who it is known he operates in France. Some of the compromised SMTP systems were identified by Norse that they are used in phishing campaigns as well as other malicious activity.
The Ottoman Hackers? Middle Eastern and Eastern European Exploit Exchange Program
Ashiyane Digital Security Team
Romanian Security Team