Iran’s Emergence as a Cyber Power


As international scrutiny remains focused on the Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear program, a capability is developing in the shadows inside Iran that could pose an even greater threat to the United States. The 2010 National Security Strategy discusses Iran in the context of its nuclear program, support of terrorism, its influence in regional activities, and its internal problems. There was no mention of Iran’s cyber capability or of that ability to pose a threat to U.S. interests. This is understandable, considering Iran has not been a major concern in the cyber realm. Furthermore, Russia and China’s cyber activities have justifiably garnered a majority of attention and been widely reported in the media over the past decade. Iran’s cyber capabilities have been considered third-tier at best. That is rapidly changing. This report discusses the growing cyber capability of Iran and why it poses a new threat to U.S. national interests.

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