By Iran Probe staff
The general uprising of the people of Iran against the ruling Ayatollahs is in its fifth months. All events were sparked by the death of a 22-year-old girl, in the custody of security agents, but the mullahs’ oppression has much deeper roots in Iranian society. The bankrupt economy, unemployment, lack of medicine, skyrocketing prices, homelessness and poverty are the gifts this regime has brought for the Iranian people. Ayatollah Khomeini’s hollow promises that the people of Iran would have a happy life under his rein are now looked at as jokes rather than truth.
One other main reasons for this uprising is a stubborn fact, and that is that in the system of religious authority, people are considered nothing. Everything, as Khomeini once said, serves the survival of the system. The government service systems are all lame in some way, but there are numerous forces to oppress the people with complete and up-to-date equipment. Among them, is the endeavor of this regime to reach the atomic bomb.
The People’s Mojahedin (MEK), the opposition organization fighting to bring down the regime, considers the Mullahs to belong to the middle ages in terms of their belief, and practice which is reflected in the laws and court rulings, and how they treat women.
In the same domain, the Iranian government benefits of science to pursue its policies of repression and terrorism. These policies, of course, includes the elimination of its opponents. Iran has a large cyber army to serve the purpose spying and demonizing its foes, such as MEK, as well as creating fake news.
Some western media have recently revealed that researchers have observed different kinds of phishing activity by a group called “Charming Kitten”, which is linked to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The reports add that in the latest operations, researchers have detected more destructive activity, which could be used to support attempted “kinetic operations” from the IRGC, including murder for hire and kidnapping.
A report issued by Proofpoint researchers states that, “TA453, like its fellow advanced persistent threat actors engaged in espionage, is in a constant state of flux regarding its tools, tactics, techniques, and targeting.” The report concludes, “Adjusting its approaches, likely in response to ever-changing and expanding priorities, the outlier campaigns are likely to continue and reflect IRGC intelligence-collection requirements, including possible support for hostile, and even kinetic, operations.”
The Proofpoint report said it could state “with moderate confidence” that the more aggressive activity could represent collaboration with another branch of the Iranian state, including the IRGC Quds Force, which carries out physical operations.
Proofpoint has also reported about TA453 targeting “multiple” Tehran-based travel agencies with credential collecting links. “The targeting of travel agencies is consistent with intelligence agency collection requirements of both the movement of Iranians outside of Iran along with domestic travel”
Iran’s intelligence uses cyber espionage and even wiretapping to hunt down its opponents, get their confidential information, and spread fake news and demonize them. Hackers, sometimes disguise themselves as real persons. That is why many experts recommend that we take extreme care on what we receive on cyberspace.