Iran is one of the leading cyberspace adversaries of the United States. It emerged as a cyberthreat a few years later than Russia and China and has so far demonstrated less skill. Nevertheless, it has conducted several highly damaging cyberattacks and become a major threat that will only get worse.
Like Russia and China, the history of Iran’s cyberspace operations begins with its hackers. But unlike these other countries, Iran openly encourages its hackers to launch cyberattacks against its enemies. The government not only recruits hackers into its cyberforces but supports their independent operations.
Putting Iranian hackers on the map
It was clear by the mid-2000s that Iran would become a source of cyberattacks: Its hackers had started taking over websites worldwide and posting their own messages on them, a practice called “defacing.” Often it was just for fun, but some hackers wanted to stand up for their country