Iranian forces stage cyber warfare exercises: report

AFP and AP

TEHRAN–Iranian forces have carried out what they called cyber warfare tactics for the first time as the Islamic republic’s naval units staged maneuvers in the key Strait of Hormuz, media reports said on Monday. The navy “launched a cyber attack against the computer network of the defensive forces in order to infiltrate the network and hack information or spread virus,” the English-language Iran daily reported, quoting Rear Admiral Amir Rastegari. Rastegari said the cyber attack was successfully detected and blocked. Over the past three years, Iranian industrial facilities including oil and nuclear sites, as well as communications networks and banking systems, have all come under cyber attacks blamed on the United States and regional arch-foe Israel. Tehran says it has developed civil and military cyber units to counter such attacks. Naval forces of the elite Revolutionary Guards have been engaged in a military drill in the Strait of Hormuz as well as in the Gulf of Oman for the past week. Iranian military officials say the exercises are aimed at demonstrating Tehran’s “defensive naval capabilities … and sending a message of peace and friendship to regional countries.” Submarines are taking part in the drills in which several missile systems are being tested, Iranian media reported. Military officials have said that the maneuvers were not aimed at closing the strategic Strait of Hormuz waterway through which much of the world’s oil supply passes. Iran test-fires missiles near Strait of Hormuz Iran’s navy said Monday it test-fired a range of weapons during ongoing maneuvers near the Strait of Hormuz, the passageway for one-fifth of the world’s oil supply.

IRNA quoted Adm. Amir Rastgari, spokesman for the exercise, as saying the Iranian-made air defense system Raad, or Thunder, was among the weapons tested, along with various torpedoes and underwater and surface-to-surface rockets as well as anti-ship missiles. The Islamic Republic said it also deployed domestically made hovercraft during the operation.