Iranian Cyber Army

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Session Description


Iranian Cyber Army
Presenter/s Ali Nikouei
Organization Baaroo Foundation
Bio/s Director of Baaroo Foundation
Language English

Session Comments

Session Notes

4 presenters

The name has given people the impression of Iranian military looking at people’s internet habits

Actually, grassroots activists who have sympathy for the hardliners in Iran (Supreme leader, Revolutionary guard, etc)

Sometimes used to bully human rights defenders inside and outside of Iran e.g. using hacking, phishing accounts, fake web sites, defacing

This network does exist

A lot of Iranian activists see themselves under threat, so self-censor

Concerned about the use to scare people into avoiding internet for communication

Iranian Cyber Army engaged in activities related to U.S. and other governments and activists inside and outside of Iran

Has been difficult to prove gov’t support but have found some details to be shown in the report

Question: What is the profile of these people? May be surprising, not according to stereotype

"Normal people” - drinking with girlfriends, daily talking about porn, etc - most have changer profile picture to the Supreme leader/Ayatollah or religious leader

Thinks they do it for money, may be receiving pressure - have a little evidence

Not difficult to join these groups - especially if you have some experience

Difficult to supervise all the members

Who pays for it? I do not know

Most famous hosting company is also one of the most famous hackers

Iranian military has cyber division

Keep an arm’s length from Iranian Cyber Army, but encourages them to some degree

1/4 million activists claimed

Most activists are teenagers 12 to 18, most do not get paid

Not like anonymous, as they don’t focus on single big projects

Sign onto message boards to work on many different things

Also, there is a known leadership structure

Some even have tests, no people with IQ under 140

Try to avoid coming to absolute conclusions in their speeches

Members enjoy a degree of immunity

Hacking education content isn’t censored

Iran & Syria - doesn’t this cyber warfare extend to the battle field, as well

We don’t get to the geopolitical struggles at all

Incentive is for Iran (gov’t) to claim they are big, when the reality is not true

Different groups under the Iranian Cyber Army, not a real single group

Audience: Very similar problem in Vietnam. Any recommendations for fighting such Internet trolls?

Good question. Not just about trolling, also hate speech, crimes

Passive Defense Army in Iranian gov’t for defending against attack