The leader of Iran’s Cyber Police (FATA) , Brigadier-General Kamal Hadianfar has asked Iranian citizens to stop using the secure messaging application Telegram immediately!
Hadianfar says Iranians should stop using Telegram due to “security” reasons; what he really means is that FATA cannot control Telegram because servers are not hosted in Iran! Hadianfar said that, “People expressed concern over the usage presence of Telegram messaging app“. Presumably he means that FATA and the wider Iranian regime are more concerned! As an Iranian ex-patriate or as a citizen still living in Iran, I doubt I would find any Iranian citizen who would agree with Hadianfar.
Citizens may be perhaps more concerned that Telegram was written and is supported by the Russian Durov brothers and one may say (if paranoid) that perhaps the Russian state could be behind Telegram? Russia is *allegedly* helping Iranian cyber efforts anyway, so perhaps this is a disinformation campaign by FATA to actually encourage Iranians to keep using Telegram?! Perhaps I am giving too much credence to FATA; in reality they cannot control Iranians from using Telegram any more that Iran’s filternet stopped Iranians from accessing certain content on the Internet.
|Brigadier-General Kamal Hadianfar looking concerned
The Brigadier-General, the man with the finger on the pulse of all things Iranian cyber in nature, went on to say that, “Foreigners take advantage of the information uploaded on this server. In fact, the main Telegram admin does not have a serious determination to confront social, cultural and moral crimes”.
Perhaps this says it all: FATA are having real problems trying to control the digital youth of Iran.
Zero Days is a new film about investigations of the world’s first cyber weapon known as Stuxnet and Operation Olympic Games. Stuxnet is malicious software that can obscure and harm critical data. The film talks about another even more powerful cyber weapon, known as Nitro Zeus.
Stuxnet is a malicious cyber worm, possibly of US and Israeli origin, It targeted the Iranian nuclear facilities at Natanz to make it look like a number of accidents.
Stuxnet specifically targets programmable logic controllers (PLCs), which allow the automation of electromechanical processes e.g.control machinery on factory assembly lines, or centrifuges for separating nuclear material.
Exploiting four zero-day flaws, Stuxnet functions by targeting machines using the Microsoft Windows operating system and networks, then seeking out Siemens Step7 software. Stuxnet compromised Iranian PLCs, collecting information on industrial systems and causing the centrifuges to be destroyed.
Stuxnet’s design and architecture are not domain-specific and it could be tailored as a platform for attacking modern SCADA and PLC systems (e.g., in automobile or power plants), the majority of which reside in Europe, Japan and the US.Stuxnet reportedly ruined almost one-fifth of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges.
Operation Olympic Games
Operation Olympic Games was a covert and campaign of sabotage by means of cyber disruption, directed at Iranian nuclear facilities by the United States and maybe also by Israel.
Nitro Zeus provided the NSA (National Security Agency) the ability to attack Iran’s command-and-control systems, which would obstruct the whole country’s communication capabilities.
The state-sponsored cyber hack would also disable Iranian air defenses, and harm financial systems as well as vital components of the power grid. This would allow US and Israeli aircraft to survey the area without being shot down.
The operation was in place as a second option just in case diplomacy and negotiations did not go smoothly. The cyber program was never actually used.
The Zero Days trailer can be found at the official site here