Cyber War and Iranian Cyber Army -In the name of Ashrar- An article by Ashrar team

TREADSTONE 71

The following is taken directly from the Ashrar Team

Ashrar Official Channel @ASHRARoffical:
*Author: eblis shar
Thanks to the cooperation of
Jen|mr.PHoeniX|@HungryBrain|@Deruw

This article presents a number of arguments and analyzes the Iranian Cyber Army. The activity types, purposes, and subcategories of cyber army groups will be discussed. The missions of these organizations will be explained. Finally, we shall touch upon cyber wars.

This article is written based on extensive documents of organizations, countries and governments, and the extensive research and data collection by Ashrar team

Ashrar’s response http://cybershafarat.com/2019/03/12/ashrar-response//

No precise information has yet been published on IRGC cyber army, and many assumptions have prevailed about this issue. In this article, I will reveal a lot of facts and information about Iranian cyber power, cyber army, organizations, institutes, and relevant media. The activity types, objectives, performed attacks, budget, power etc. will be explained.

2019-05-09_16-31-27
Here, we will show the minute details of Iran cyber power.

Iranian Cyber-attacks started as a result of Stuxnet virus substantial damage to Iran’s atomic program and the Green Movement in 2009 and 2010. The green movement led by Mousavi was hacked by the Cyber Army. The history of Iranian cyber-attacks and cyber army, however, goes even further back, but it was during the mentioned period that the attacks gained momentum; they were made public and they received more budgets.

The initial concept of establishing a cyber army was first embraced by IRGC in 2005. It developed by leaps and bounds through using a whole gamut of expertise and employing a great number of hackers. Initially, they were called IRGC cyber watchdog, a sub-organization of Tehran Mohammad Rasulullah Corps, including 3000 forces.
Ghasam.ir: the official website of Tehran Cyber Army

Over the years, this army has expanded, pursuing more important goals. Among such goals, one may refer to exercising extensive control over the internet, social networks and websites, improving wide censorship and filtering, spreading rumors, starting media and psychological warfare, establishing the Islamic culture, organizing so-called opposing media that work for IRGC in order to gain the people’s trust and to stain the reputation of other media, hacking the officials of foreign states and countries, attacking the US industrial and military establishment, and collecting extensive information from people, which shall all be explained in more detail later on.
Given that today, the US and European important infrastructures are all connected to the internet and cyber world, cyberwar has become more important and dangerous than traditional military wars. With everyday advances in science and technology, this becomes even more complicated and dangerous.
Countries with high cyberwar capabilities may pose a number of incredible threats and risks to any country. Cyberwar may involve anything ranging from dismantling atomic establishments to attacking large dam systems. A great city like Tehran could be flooded and destroyed by opening sluice gates in a dam.
Attacking and dismantling power generation sources of a city e.g. New York can bring the city back to Stone Ages. This was done by the cyber army to Turkey. Half of Turkey (44 provinces) experienced the Dark Ages for 12 hours.

Drones and planes could be hacked through cyber-attacks. In the past, we were all witness to how Iranian cyber army hacked and downed an American advanced drone.

Cyber-attacks may also account for hacking confidential information, accessing advanced technologies and weapons and starting psychological warfare among many other activities.
Many of these attacks are still in progress against the US due to the US heavy sanctions on Iran. Cyber-attacks have been on a rise, and we are now in a war, but is that a traditional military war? The answer is “No”.

There are soft wars, cyber wars, psychological wars, economic wars etc., which do not only concern Iran and the US.
Iranian Cyber Army has close cooperation with the cyber armies of China, Russia, India, and Lebanon, all of which intend to damage the US.

Reports have revealed that the Iranian Cyber Army has recruited a number of Chinese, Russian and Indian hackers. This was true in the past. At the very beginning, the Iranian Cyber Army paid Russian and Chinese hackers to perform attacks on different countries, yet today with considerable advances of the cyber army, foreign hackers are not used anymore. However, the Iranian cyber army is still in close coordination with China and Russia.

Iranian cyber-attacks are majorly performed with the goal of retaliation, yet Russia and China pursue other goals. Anyway, there is no doubt about the cooperation among these countries.
The cyber army only owes allegiance to Iran Supreme Leader and IRGC. They have hacked the President’s team members and relatives such as the President Assistant, Mohammad Javad Zarif, and the President’s brother. They have also hacked the government officials.

Some of the important cyber-attacks include the following:

  1. Hacking the emails of the US Treasury Department
  2. Hacking Twitter
  3. 12 hours of power-cut in half of Turkey
  4. Hacking Baidu, the largest Chinese search engine
  5. Attacking a dam in the US
  6. Attacking Saudi Arabia oil companies
  7. Attacking the accounts of important US officials
  8. Hacking US nuclear scientists’ emails
  9. Attacking the US Navy
  10. Phishing attacks against US banks
  11. Phishing attacks against hundreds of US universities
  12. Attacking military establishments
  13. Hacking the US internet and associated network (DNS)
  14. Hacking a US Oil Company
  15. Attacking power distribution networks and financial systems

These attacks were done to retaliate, damage, display power and collect information from the US infrastructures.

These are only a tiny fraction of numbers of dangerous cyber-attacks, many of which are still unknown. That is why the Iranian cyber army is among the top 5 strong cyber armies in the world.
Types of the cyber-attacks by this army: Phishing through Google, Email, forging important websites, defacing and reverse engineering are majorly used by this cyber army.

So far, thousands of phishing sites made by the Iranian Cyber Army for extensive information gathering have been discovered all through the world. Of course, many undiscovered phishing websites are still active, receiving information from all across the globe. The phishing attacks are usually done by a subordinate team given that IRGC could be severely sanctioned in case of their direct involvement in phishing attacks.

Data collection through phishing is one of the important goals of this establishment. The victims are usually universities, professors, students, government officials, and military figures. This is done with the goal of collecting extensive information, penetrating into the enemy’s infrastructure algorithm, stealing important information and accessing secret technologies.

Powerful countries have weapons and technologies, of which only a few are aware. These include weapons that even the highest-rank official such as the president is unaware of. Their role is raiding and destroying the enemy’s plans and programs. They are only used in case of emergency.

Usually, the first of these attacks cause irreparable damage to the enemy. After the element of surprise is gone, the enemy designs new plans to counter the threats.

That is why cyber-attacks and phishing are widely performed to control personal accounts of high-rank people. Hundred thousands of important officials are fully watched 24/7.
Knowing the enemy’s secret technologies and preventing astonishment is a lasting goal for cyber armies, but the Iranian Cyber Army has not still reached that level of attacks. It majorly focuses on information collection and controlling the people of Iran. A great deal of cyber army activities hovers around Iran’s internal affairs. It spies on people, unfortunately.

IRGC Cyber Army receives a budget of $76,000,000. It has 250,000 active members and 12,000 reserve members. One of the managers of the cyber army is Mansoor Amini. Mehdi Saremi is a cyber expert. We have discovered the traces of Mansour Amini in a number of attacks by the cyber army and one of its subordinate teams. There is also Mujtaba Ahmadi, the head of the cyber army who was murdered in a terrorist attack.

Some of the other senior members and managers of the cyber army include the following:

  • Ali Kheiri
  • Saeed Beiki
  • Hussein Firoozi
  • Ahmad Rezayi Kenari
  • Nader Saedi
  • Arash Viskarami
  • Mehdi Husseinzadeh
  • Malek Mohammadi Nejad
  • Seyyed Javad Fat’hi
  • Majid Bagherzadeh

Their documents and photos are at the end of the article.

Organizations, institutes, administrations, branches and subordinate branches of the cyber army include the following. These entities either directly belong to the cyber army or are under its support in some way.

• Passive Defense Organization
• Ministry of Intelligence
• IRGC intelligence service
• IRGC Cyber Headquarters for monitoring the internet and Iranian users
• Hezbollah Cyber founded in 2011
• The headquarters for fighting soft threats
• Basij headquarters
• The advertising activities of Basij Tollab
• Rocket Kitten
• Charming Kitten
• Student headquarters
• Officers of soft war
• Gerdab
• Imam Hussein Corps
• Cyber Media International Union
• National TV cyber army
• Telecommunication companies – Irancell and ISPs are completely at the service of the cyber army to spy on people

They also own thousands of websites, networks, and media.

Cyber army hereafter refers to all of these teams, groups, entities, and organizations, not just one group.

Some of these websites:

  • Gerdab.ir: The official website of Gerdab Cyber Army
  • Ghasam.ir: Ghasam
  • Tasnimnews.com: Tasnim
  • Yjc.ir: Young Journalists Club for National TV cyber army
  • Tabnak.ir: Tabnak
  • Papsa.ir: Passive Defense Websites
  • Umsha.ac.ir
  • Paydarymelli.ir
  • Farsnews.com: Fars News Agency
  • Alef.ir: Alef
  • Rajanews.com: Rajanews
  • Isna.ir: ISNA
  • Mehrnews.com: Mehr
  • Cyberarmyofiran.com: old and out-of-service website of the cyber army

And thousands of websites, media, channels, and pages all across the internet that are dependent on the cyber army and IRGC.

Under total obligation, Ashiyane Team and some security teams were once recruited by the cyber army. These teams are now destroyed.

This army has many members and they are active everywhere, including members from Quds forces, Lebanese Hezbollah, Basij, Passive Defense, FETA police, Soft War Officers, National TV, students, professors, freelance hackers etc. In the past, Russian, Chinese and Indian hackers were recruited.

Passive Defense is one of the relevant strong organizations that trains and uses the battalions of the cyber army.
The purposes of Passive defense:

  • the increase of preventive measures,
  • decrease of susceptibility,
  • promotion of national sustainability,
  • management of a crisis.

The continuation of these services is a must as stated by Commander Jalali, the head of this organization.
This army has powerful lobbies with large budget resources. It also has large networks and many members from different social backgrounds.
One of these organs is a National TV cyber army with 7 cyber battalions and more than 1200 members. As the largest Iranian media, it also has thousands of reporters.
It is also interesting to know that after JCPOA and nuclear deal, 100 billion dollars of the released frozen funds were spent on cyber war and IRGC cyber army facilities.

In Iran, $10000000 is spent on filtering on a daily basis.

This army has thousands of accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Telegram, Instagram and specially Youtube. Thousands of such accounts that were made to disseminate the propaganda of Iranian government, to start psychological war and to spread rumors among many other objectives were removed by Twitter and Facebook.

However, many new accounts were created again and they are still active.

The missions of the cyber army

One of the missions of such accounts is to defend the government in social networks through writing comments under the post of important political and opposition figures. By doing this, they try to make people and the world understand that the Islamic Republic of Iran has many fans. Their political attitude is also interesting. Cyber activist knows well that the government figures are not popular among people at all. Therefore, the cyber army media start to advertise some new figures to gain popularity among people and win their trust. When they find a place in the hearts of people, they start blackwashing and backing the government in an unnoticeable manner. They ruin the people trust in real opposition media, which will lead to disunity.

Another important mission is to fabricate fake media with the aim of opposing and toppling the government. These media are active in Telegram and social networks. In their words, they support people and explain their problems. They win the people trust and put the whole blame on the government and the Congress. They spread rumors against the opposing media so that people distrust them and disunity is born out this bedlam.
These fake media can be easily recognized. They never go beyond the Congress and presidents. They never mess with top figures and high-rank officials. They don’t even criticize them. They are after making the public against the government and president. Hence, they will rescue the Islamic Republic.

I won’t say the names of any channel or media. You can distinguish the fake from the genuine.

Another mission of the cyber army is to make movements in important events and during the people dissatisfaction. For instance, when a famous political activist is killed or imprisoned, these media reveal the news of censoring Instagram to distract the people from the murder or imprisonment. People don’t care and will soon start to worry about Instagram censorship.
This game has been in progress for a long time. Every time, something important happens followed by people’s discontent and anger, distracting news is spread with complete coordination with state-dependent media to distract the people’s attention. And so far, they have been successful.

One means for fighting such movements is to leave and abandon the media that are dependent on the cyber army. When we don’t get the distracting new, then we won’t ever be distracted. This should become a habit among people. They should all boycott these media in a united measure. Unfortunately, the project of destroying people’s trust and creating disunity has prevented the formation of this unity, and we shall struggle to no avail in this vortex until we die.

Another mission of the cyber army is spying.

Please note that in every Basij Region, there is a cyber battalion. One of their duties is to create malware, spyware, Trojans and practical software with built-in spyware. These programs are widely distributed in Telegram and Cafe Bazaar.

Cafe Bazaar is a program that is dependent on the cyber army with many spyware inside of it. Millions of phone devices were hacked and spied on constantly by the cyber army. Eavesdropping is an everyday habit in cyber headquarters lasting for years. Telecommunications are completely controlled by the cyber army. All of our conversations are heard, recorded and archived. They will be used against us in courts or trials.
This way, everyone could be a criminal. The government is allowed to convict everyone if necessary.
This type of spying on people has been demonstrated in police and IRGC trials. The films are proof of this matter.
By cyber army, we mean all those entities, organizations and administrations listed above. These points are only mentioned to make people aware, not to throw fear in your hearts.

The conclusion of reviewing the above-mentioned missions is that under no circumstance, we shall use apps and programs which have a server in Iran. Remove Bazaar from your phone right now! Remove every application you have downloaded from Bazaar and equip your phone and system with a powerful and popular antivirus. Then scan your phone with it.

As a matter of fact, there are many companies and individuals who design these applications without any intention of spying, which is quite well. Unfortunately, they will be forced to give the information of their users to the cyber army under pressure.
Those cyber hack activists who criticize the government and live in Iran shall by no means use their genuine photos and names in their social network profiles. They should be active under a nickname.

The next mission of the cyber army is to attack the military establishment of the US and Israel. On these missions, the goal is to dismantle the defense system and rocket launchers of these countries. For instance, if missile approach warning system, Iron Dome, Radar or GPS fail and the Iron Dome cannot identify and detect the missiles, Iranian missiles can easily target the cities of the occupying regime and turn them to ashes. Iron Dome cannot do anything in this regard. Even Iranian aircraft can easily fly in the occupied Palestine sky and in any altitude.

Last week, the cyber army attempted to hack Israeli missile approach warning system. It was a test. Israel praised its system and called it impenetrable. They called Iranian hackers cyber terrorists. Cyber war is far more complicated than you think.

This war is not limited to certain things. In a country where all infrastructures even its military weapons are controlled through systems and networks, its’ security will be very vulnerable.

All this advanced equipment of countries such as the US will create a lot of problems. World war III will be a cyber war. A country with the greatest cyber power will have the leverage in this war.

When such a war begins, nothing will stop the hackers since there will be no limitations and hackers can perform direct attacks.

Right now a cyber war is not so explicit and direct. Iranian, Chinese and Russian hackers try to attack the US secretly, leaving no trace. If any trace is claimed, they will deny their attacks so that they dodge the retaliation and sanctions of the US and its allies. They try to escape reactive attacks and to keep their reputation in the global world. The attacks that are now in progress, despite being large in quantity, are limited with the maximum of effort to leave no trace.
In the case of the emergence of a direct war, no limitation and conservatism will exist.

The hackers on both sides (state hackers, government teams, independent and private hackers e.g. Ashrar team) will relentlessly and openly defend their country and will destroy the enemy.

If there is a direct war between the US and Iran, the US will suffer from a lot of damage and casualties since all infrastructures of this country work with internet and systems.
Of course, it does not mean that we will have low number of casualties and damages. Everyone knows that there is no %100 security.

All war aircraft carriers, submarines, advanced laser missiles with GPS, spying planes, cities, dams, internet of things, atomic weapons, banks, World Bank, oil resources, buildings and new smart towers, space stations and every technology will be under cyber-attacks.
Smart precision-guided laser missiles that use GPS and Radar could be hacked. A new command could be given to the missile GPS to strike the very missile launcher or a city.

In wars, equipment and technologies will be useful as well as dangerous.
Any destructive and dangerous weapon can be used against the country that owns those weapons.

The thermal and ignition systems in cities and tower could be hacked. Increasing the temperature can turn a city or tower into mountains of ashes.
The ever advancing internet of things is spreading in the US and European countries. This is a weakness and target for hackers. New generation of machines, airports and airplanes will be destroyed remotely from thousands miles through a computer system.
Energy resources will be attacked and the world superpowers will go back to the dark ages.

One great weakness of a country such as the US is its soldier casualties.

The heads of the US are very afraid of war casualties since the people of the US are so much concerned with their beautiful land, the so-called democracy and human rights. They mourn over their dead pets for years. They oppose war and favor peace. They can’t tolerate war casualties. In case of war, the US casualties will be numerous, which will enrage and dissatisfy American people so much.

Although no country can win a war over US, civil war caused by people’s discontent with the war and casualties may break out. The majority of people in the US keep weapons in their houses and anyone can have them. The US states may claim independence and the US does not have the power to deal with its own people.

The US has the power to fight out of its borders. Its army and forces do not have the necessary power to fight inside their own countries or to manage a civil war. It does not have any plan or power to deal with this issue.

However, if any war starts in Iran, no province shall call for separation. People and soldiers are not afraid to die and get martyred. Wars will strengthen the government.

I just mentioned some facts with no prejudice or bias. We all know about the intentions of Ashrar team. Our goal is the unity of cyber community and Iranian people to make a better, free and powerful Iran; to build a country with greatest companies and economy. A country which is not sanctioned but it sanctions others itself.

My friends! Now that I have gone too far, let me tell you more and give some facts that we have all been blind to.
Neither the US nor any other country is worried about Iranian people. They only think about their own benefits. The US will not pay a dime for the liberty of Iranian people.

It is through sanctions that the US builds up the pressure on Iranian people. People are leverage. They sanction us so that we go to the streets, which makes the government negotiate with the US and do whatever the US want them to do.

Iranian_Cyber_Army_Exposed_Names_NEW_0000 (1)

The US uses Iranian people via these sanctions. They use the people to put pressure on the government and to destroy Iranian missiles in the negotiations. They want to weaken the missiles both in terms of range and number. This makes Iran weak.
This is exactly what they did to other countries as well. Negotiation never rescued them but it resulted in the termination of those countries. Just take a look at the history.

Believe me! If Trump uses the people’s discontent and dissatisfaction against the government, and the government gives into the US demands, it does not matter to them if Iranians are slaughtered.

What matters is the range of Iranian missiles and that they will never get to Israel. It is important that Iran does not have military power to endanger the US benefits.

We are just a leverage used by the US against the government to make them give in to their demands. The team that has designed the sanctions has cunningly targeted only the people.
It was the US that sold advanced censorship technologies and spyware to Iran, by which the cyber army can easily eavesdrop on people and to watch them even in their beds.
Hundreds of political activities have been arrested, tortured and killed by the America advanced equipment.
Free speech technologies have taken away every freedom from Iranian people. On the one hand, American Officials keep nagging about lack of freedom in Iran and how they are worried about the freedom of speech and political prisoners. They claim they are with the people of Iran and that the sanctions do not target Iranian people and much more nonsense they speak every day. On the other hand, they secretly give the regime the equipment for imprisoning people.
No one feels sorry for us. There’s no such thing as a free lunch.
Unfortunately, the US has powerful media. It has started the media and soft war at full blast, and many people, under the impression of these media, believe that the US is our guardian angel.

Iranian_Cyber_Army_Exposed_Names_NEW_0001 (1)

The depth of our misery comes into light when we understand that our own regime is against us and takes away our freedom; when we see that the elected government is inept, and the other countries are against us as well.

Open your eyes! Look if there is anyone in the world who is after the interests of Iranian people! The answer is “no”.
More interestingly, we do not think about ourselves either.

In all of these wars happening around us, media wars, psychological wars, soft wars, cyber war etc. the only victims are us, the people.

We have fallen victims to the demands and policies of Iranian leaders and those of other countries.

Yes, the truth is bitter and people don’t like it.
People love to hear beautiful lies.
People love to hear someone talking about a bright future.
People love to wait for a shining future that will never come true.
People will not believe the truth.

I am sure that no one speaks without prejudice or bias towards a party, group, person or country. All people support someone or something. Those who give prettier promises have more fans and followers. Everyone talks about a bright future and promises anything for his/her own good, but as they gain their own interests, they leave people.

I do not belong to any party or group; I don’t back any opposition, leader, party, God or religion. Religions are basically created by leaders to control people, create wars and expanding borders.
Through religion, people can have beliefs that are more important than themselves; beliefs for which they will scarify themselves.

They start wars and commit crimes in the name of religions and to save the religions.

Poor people who are owned by religion are subservient to their leaders.
Religion is used to control people and to promote unity among them. Smart individuals and leaders in the past understood this point and created a religion to control the people.
The religion accounts for a majority of wars in the world.

Religions often talk about good things and peace, but they have set records in shedding blood.

Suppose all people in the world only have one religion and god; they have only one thing in common and worship it; will there be any war?
The answer is “No”.
That is why hundreds of religions have been created to keep the war going.

I told you the truth and I will leave you without own wisdom.
I am sorry if I insulted anyone’s beliefs in some way. I don’t intend to insult anyone. I just want to tell the truth, which has become a myth. The world made by people has deep problems.
I am mad with the world leaders and the politicians. I am enraged with hackers too, with God and religions; I am even mad with myself.

These words can be continued for eternity. I can write a 500-page book by them, but will it change anything in the world? I doubt so.

  • By eblisshar
  • And Thanks to my friends jen & mr.pнoenιχ
  • Telegram: @ASHRARoffical
  • Web : ashrar-tm.ir

Some references

My Heart

Disclosing the names and documents of cyber army members
Photos:
http://rozup.ir/view/2783046/Iranian_Cyber_Army_Exposed_Names_NEW_00
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http://rozup.ir/view/2783047/Iranian_Cyber_Army_Exposed_Names_NEW_00
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Dorks

  • intext:Iranian Cyber Army filetype:docx
  • intext:Iranian Cyber Army filetype:doc
  • inurl:Iranian Cyber Army

https://wp.nyu.edu/compass/2018/11/13/iranian-cyber-warfare-state- repression-and-international-retaliation/
https://web.archive.org/web/*/Iranian%20Cyber%20Army http://www.thetower.org/7243-iranian-hackers-likely-behind-cyber-attacks-
going-after-the-internet-infrastructure-itself/

http://yippy.com/search/?v%3Aproject=clusty- new&query=Iranian+Cyber+Army&xtoken=17193828415c7b04712798a

https://www.refseek.com/search?q=Iranian+Cyber+Army http://iranbriefing.net/iranian-revolutionary-guard-cyber-attack/ http://time.com/4270728/iran-cyber-attack-dam-fbi/
https://chandercaller.com/2019/03/01/chinese-and-iranian-hackers-the- latest-challenge-for-us-companies/

https://www.bridgesforpeace.com/2019/02/israel-thwarts-iranian-attempt- to-hack-missile-warning-system/

Source File: CyberWarfareinIran-Ashrar-Team – Treadstone71

Ashrar’s response http://cybershafarat.com/2019/03/12/ashrar-response//

TREADSTONE 71 2019

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