Secret Iran hacking plans against West revealed – report

Written by on July 27, 2021

Five secret documents allegedly showing Iranian plans to hack infrastructure in Western countries, including in Europe, were publicized by Sky News late Monday.

Although there are reports of such hacks by Iran and others in the past, it is unusual for a media organization to obtain actual internal planning documents for Unit 13, the cyber unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Some of the potential hacks, which the IRGC cyber group may be planning according to the report, would be against a cargo ship’s ballast water system. This could cause a ship irreparable damage.

The ballast water system helps balance the ship in certain circumstances by pumping water into special tanks on the ship, and tampering with the system could harm this crucial process.

Another Iranian plot appeared to be to hack the automatic tank gage of certain gas stations which could stop the flow of gas or in a worst case scenario, even cause an explosion, the report said.

In addition, the 57 pages described attempts to hack maritime communications devices.

Sky News interviewed UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace who talked more generally about the sorts of threats described in the documents as serious and clearly did not deny them.

Another anonymous source in the report said that the documents described early stages of planning for a cyber attack, but did not clarify how far along the plans went.

It was unclear who leaked the documents, but the leak appeared designed to embarrass Iran before European countries to potentially influence their views on a range of issues regarding the Islamic Republic.

Currently there is a standoff regarding whether Iran and the US will return to the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal and undermining EU trust in Tehran could also destabilize those already fraught negotiations.

The EU has given Iran the cold shoulder before diplomatically after terror operations from the IRGC were uncovered in continental Europe, but has not publicly retaliated using force the way that the US and Israel sometimes have (or at least where attacks were attributed to them).

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