Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani has claimed that the country has discovered and destroyed an extensive cyber network launched by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to spy on the country and a number of other states.
“It is interesting to know that a while ago, the Iranian intelligence apparatus discovered and cracked down on one of the most complicated cyber networks of the CIA which was used for cyber spying and was an important part of the CIA’s operational capacities in the countries targeted by the US,” Shamkhani said in an interview with the IRIB on Monday.
He added that given the cooperation between Iran and a large number of world states within the framework of counter-espionage at international level, Tehran has provided its partners with information about the CIA cyber network, which also led to the capture of the members of the network and its eventual annihilation in those countries.
Shamkhani said evidence is available on the operation of the CIA project, adding that parts of the case have also been revealed by the CIA before.
The Washington Post reported in June 2012 that the US National Security Agency (NSA), its spy service CIA, and Israel’s military had worked together to launch Stuxnet against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
In late 2015, Iran’s then Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hossein Jaberi-Ansari called the attacks that came in 2011 “illegal,” saying Tehran had never responded with “reciprocal cyber-attacks.”
Iranian Minister of Information and Communications Technology Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi revealed that Tehran had developed an indigenous firewall securing its sensitive industrial facilities against Stuxnet, a cyber-weapon widely believed to be made by the US and Israel and used in the past to target the Islamic Republic’s nuclear energy program.
The firewall, he said, has been designed and developed by young Iranian scientists, and successfully tested on industrial automation systems.
The firewall “practically neutralizes industrial sabotage, such as (those potentially launched by) Stuxnet, in electrical grids and suchlike,” he wrote, adding, “By relying on (our) youths, we will turn threats into opportunities.”