Members of Cyber-Army of the Islamic regime are Omni-present on the social media networks. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the opposition websites on the internet are their hunting ground. The Cyber–Army has different methods of infiltration into websites, users’ accounts and initiates an effort to identify and control them. Many hackers end up by being identified and exposed on Facebook.
In open conflict, they counter the opposition’s claim against the rule of the Islamic regime. In this light, any idea, which stands for democracy and secularism in Iran, would be labelled with treachery and agent of foreign enemy. Believers in democracy, secularism, national interests, and social justice are their archenemies. In a second front and lesser animosity, they counter the outsiders of the regime, those of the previous leadership namely activists of the Green Movement. These cyber-mercenaries spend most of their time hacking, call naming, slandering, and attacking on the opposition in cyberspace while attempting to disappoint and disperse the members of the opposition from each other.
The plan for the formation of an Iranian Cyber-Army was raised in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards in 2005, as the opposition groups and individuals spread their activities on the social networks. Many groups of hackers have been since formed: the notorious known of which include Ashiyaneh, Shabgard, and Simorgh. These groups attack various websites both in and outside with complete impunity from the regime.
All cyber-mercenaries on Facebook are not forcibly bearded men or Islamic-hijab-clad women, revealing also how their motives are underpinned by anti-Semitism and anti-Western sentiment by a sense of global Islamism. They are recruits trained with a non-Islamist look, literature, values who work for the same Cyber-Army. One might realise that the camouflaged recruits would give themselves away when i.e., they switch from right wing Aryan-admirers suddenly to Anti-Semitists or from pretentious human right activists to apologists of the Islamic regime’s survival under any colour. Whatever the role-play, one can depict that the Cyber-recruits ultimately would come up and call a spade a spade, in other words, the Zionists, Westerns, and imperialistic conspiracies are responsible for all of problems in Iran.
Therefore, the scope of their sabotage is various on Facebook. Some openly carried out such acts and hack or “occupy” the opposition sites on Facebook; some under false name, avatar, and demagogical presentation infiltrate accounts of dissidents. Fortunately, their attitudes toward Facebook-friends are too obvious: they abandon their flattery attitudes when they are disappointed of collaboration, then screw up friends and so they show their real identity. Their lack of intellect and sympathy for Iran and her people is another factual index indicating their hidden identity. However, they sometimes achieve to remain on your Facebook-friend-list a while. Unfortunately, individual relationships and the flow of information are so tightly manipulated that many Facebook-friends are not even aware that they have been victims of Cyber-Army.
The Cyber-Army has professional hackers who have already hacked many facebook’s accounts and internet-websites. They are likely connected to the office of the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, as we can see here.
The talent level of the Cyber-Army is quite high, and its record indicates a technical capacity comparable to similar groups operated by the American and Israeli intelligence agencies. Indeed, many of the same people who run the Revolutionary Guards’ official control Cyber War against the enemies, including undesirable users on the social media networks. Based on figures received from the CIA, estimated the Iranian Cyber-Army's budget at 76 million dollars. It is apparently backed up by China, Russia and North Korea.
Cyber groups from different Islamic country like hacker groups out of Pakistan, Indonesia and Malaysia, Hezbollah of Lebanon and Hamas promote common plans based on Sharia law and common interests of political Islam. Islamic extremist hacker group from cyber fighters of Izz ad-din Al qassam’- a reference to the military cyber fighter of Hamas declared that it would attack the Bank of America and the New York Stock Exchange as a first step in a campaign against “American Zionist Capitalists”. Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters launched similar attacks earlier this year, reiterated its demands: that a controversial YouTube video mocking the prophet Mohammed "be eliminated from the Internet." Many Facebook-accounts sharing the film were hacked.
Hackers of the Islamic regime have been recently strengthened on Facebook and could hack sites of several prominent opposition activists like that of Mr. Noori Alla. They blatantly write words of insults, threatening and “occupation by the soldiers of Imam Mahadi” on such sites in their possession. They attack not only their political dissident, but also the user of non-Islamic contents for which such users would be prosecuted in Iran.
Against thousands members of the Islamic regime’s Cyber-Army, highly active on Facebook, the opposition needs a cyber defense formed from volunteers and professionals. Their task is warning internet users from any attack while thwarting cyber attacks of the Islamic regime.
Here are security tips to protect your accounts in Facebook from hackers:
1. Hide your Email Address from everyone by going to Edit Profile>Contact Information>Clicking on the icon beside your email address> checking 'Only Me'.
2. Change your primary email address to a one that is only known to you by going to Account Settings>Email> and changing your primary email to the new one (known only to you) and removing your previous email address.
3. For additional security, when in Account Settings, check 'Secure browsing' and 'Send me an email when a new computer or mobile device logs into this account' and click Save.
4. Do not download any dubious link even sent from a serious friend.
As far as the plague of the Islamic regime is concerned, the social media networks today serve an effective social utility that connect the Iranian opposition groups and intellectuals with the oppressed people inside. Therefore, these accounts, in and outside Iran, are target of the Islamic regime. The cooperation of Iranian experts and freedom-lovers of Iran abroad are expected. For the awareness of Iranian people by circulation of information, the social media networks play a vital role and thus our experts must thwart the plan of the Islamic regime to damage and infiltrate websites and accounts of Iranians on the Internet.