Warning: Use of undefined constant php - assumed 'php' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/customer/www/ncrius.org/public_html/wp-content/themes/ri-maxazine/included/templates/header/header-8.php on line 42

Press Conference: IRGC Leads Cyberwarfare on Iranian People, Threatens the Outside World

Despite all repressive measures by the IRGC, the uprising continues

WASHINGTON, DC, 15 February 2018 — In a press conference in its Washington, DC office, the National Council of Resistance of Iran revealed new details about how the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC), and the Ministry of Information and Security (MOIS), have been using cyberwarfare against the people of Iran, in a bid to counter the recent outbreak of popular unrest.

NCRI said that a new wave of domestic cyberwarfare, led by the IRGC in collaboration with the MOIS, accelerated significantly after the recent eruption of nationwide protests in Iran. The internal network of the main opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK/PMOI), which is the principal member of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), has established that the regime has focused all its energy on mass surveillance through malicious software embedded in IRGC mobile apps, designed to actively monitor and disrupt the communication of protesters and dissidents.

The latest popular uprising in Iran against the ruling theocracy erupted on December 28, 2017 and spread to 142 towns and cities with breakneck speed. The protests sent shockwaves through the regime and around the world. Many policy experts now view the revolt as a “landmark event” and a “turning point” since the regime’s establishment in 1979.

The protesters’ use of cyber technology proved to be the regime’s Achilles’ Heel, rendering it incapable, despite a huge show of force, of stopping the expansion of protests. Beginning on the second day, the protests expanded in size and scope due to pre-announced locations and times, even as the regime desperately cut off access to the Internet and blocked key mobile apps such as Telegram at considerable financial and political cost as well as international embarrassment, NCRI said.  

Iran: Cyber Repression: How the IRGC Uses Cyberwarfare to Preserve the Theocracy,” a 70-page book published by the NCRI-US, was released at the press conference.

Alireza Jafarzadeh, the deputy director of the NCRI’s Washington office a block away from the White House, presented the NCRI findings at the press conference, saying, “The IRGC has weaponized western cyber technology to target its own people, who are engaged in the uprising to free their country.”

The NCRI said that the homegrown market place Café Bazaar, modeled after Google Play, is monitored by the IRGC.

According to the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) sources in Iran, through front companies such as Hanista, the IRGC has created apps such as Mobogram, an unofficial Telegram fork. The IRGC uses the malware embedded in Mobogram to spy on, identify, threaten and eventually arrest the protesters who used Mobogram during the uprising. The malicious codes are undetected by the mobile users. If Mobogram is installed by an administrator of a Telegram channel on his/her phone, the malicious code allows the IRGC to gain full access to the entire list of that channel’s subscribers.

Ironically, some of these spyware-enabled apps are available on Google Play, Apple Store, and GitHub, potentially exposing millions of users worldwide to the IRGC’s spyware and surveillance activities.

“The same cyber unit of the IRGC Intelligence Organization that is involved in the development of the spyware-enabled apps is also responsible for the regime’s cyberwarfare against the West and the countries in the region,” Jafarzadeh added.

The IRGC-developed mobile apps are accessible on global markets, in clear violation of U.S. sanctions, including executive orders 13606, which prohibits facilitating the Iranian regime’s ‘computer and network disruption, monitoring, and tracking,’ as well as 13224, which prohibits providing any assistance to entities associated with the IRGC, the NCRI’s new book explained.

Jafarzadeh urged the international community to take appropriate measures to pressure the regime and stand on the side of the Iranian people. “The U.S. Government needs to adopt a much tougher policy regarding the rogue behavior of the Iranian regime, including the IRGC’s cyber warfare,” he warned. “The Iranian regime is currently hard at work testing the success of these apps on the people of Iran first. If not confronted, its next victims will be the people of other nations.”

The NCRI report said, “What gives confidence to the Iranian regime to continue cyber repression is the international community’s inaction and ambivalence. As such, the United States, the European Union and the Arab nations in the region have added responsibility to act.”

“Cyber repression by the Iranian regime must not be analyzed in a vacuum and separate from other repressive measure at home, export of terrorism and nuclear expansion. To counter Tehran’s increasing cyber threats, a comprehensive and decisive policy must be adopted,” Jafarzadeh concluded. [/vc_column_text]

Our Publication

Cover of the Cyber Repression-just front

Watch the Entire Conference

Recent Media Coverage

NCRI-US’s New Book, Expert Panel Make Case to Hold Ebrahim Raisi to Account for Crimes Against Humanity, 1988 Massacre

Press Release, NCRI-US, August 10, 2021 Discussions focus on the challenges of advancing an effective and appropriate Iran policy following the inauguration of Ebrahim Raisi. WASHINGTON, DC, August 10, 2021 — On August 5, 2021, the U.S. Representative Office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI-US) held an online briefing entitled “Challenges Posed…

Virtual Briefing: Challenges Posed by Ebrahim Raisi, a Recognized Mass Murderer

New Book Makes the Case for Raisi’s Accountability Washington, DC – On Thursday, August 5, 2021, the US Representative Office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI-US) will host an online briefing, featuring notable human rights and Iran policy figures. The discussion will focus on the challenges of implementing an appropriate Iran policy…

Iran Protests in Tehran Shows Society’s Restiveness

Written by Hamideh Taati, originally published in ncr-iran.org, 29th July 2021 Monday, protests erupted in Tehran with people chanting slogans such as “down with the dictator.” But how these protests started, and what do they indicate? The power outage in the Aladdin Mobile Market was the starting point for these protests. Slogans rapidly became political,…

Protests in Iran Grow With Water Shortages

Commentary by Soona Samsami, originally published in the RealClear Politics, July 24, 2021 You may have missed it, but since July 15 large anti-regime protests by young people have flared up in more than a dozen cities in the southwestern Khuzestan province of Iran. The enraged residents are protesting severe water shortages caused primarily by…

Khuzestan Uprisings Expand

BEHIND THE IRAN HEADLINES Series, July 23, 2021 Alireza Jafarzadeh, NCRI-US Deputy Director: The uprising in Khuzestan is now in the second week. Despite killing several peaceful protesters, injuring dozens more and arresting many civilians, the protests continue into the 9th Day. In fact, other cities and provinces have risen up in support. On July…

A Week of Uprisings in Khuzestan

BEHIND THE IRAN HEADLINES Series, July 21, 2021 Alireza Jafarzadeh, NCRI-US Deputy Director: Since July 15, 2021, defiant youths in many cities in southwestern province of Khuzestan have staged large-scale protests over the severe shortages of water caused by criminal negligence and corruption of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, also known as the IRGC. Khuzestan is a…

A week of Uprisings in a Dozen Cities in Khuzestan Province

Statement by the National Council of Resistance of Iran, U.S. Representative Office (NCRI-US), July 21, 2021 Repressive forces from Isfahan, Lorestan, and Tehran dispatched WASHINGTON , DC, July 21, 2021 — Since July 15, 2021, defiant youths in over a dozen cities in the oil-rich southwestern province of Khuzestan have staged large anti-regime demonstrations over…

Iran: Uprising in Cities of Khuzestan over Water Shortage Enters Fourth Day

By Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Originally published in NCR-Iran.org, 19th July 2021 The Uprising of the Thirsty – No. 4 Repressive forces attacked, fired on demonstrators in Susangerd, injuring many Despite the dispatch of the anti-riot State Security Force (SSF) units, the uprising of the people of Khuzestan in protest to the…

Protests over Water Shortages Reflect Broader Political Trends in Iran

By Shamsi Saadati, Originally published in NCR-Iran.org, 20th July 2021 Since Thursday, the Iranian province of Khuzestan has been the site of numerous large-scale protests over worsening water shortages. The demonstrations emerged within weeks of the start of similarly expansive protests in Khuzestan and various other regions, stemming from lengthy and far-reaching blackouts in the midst of the summer…

Iranian Resistance Condemns Clerical Regime’s Plot against Ms. Masih Alinejad and Four other Iranians

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), July 14, 2021 The Iranian Resistance strongly condemns the clerical regime Intelligence Ministry’s plot against Ms. Masih Alinejad and four other Iranians in Canada and the United Kingdom, as reported by the U.S. Department of Justice and the media. For the past four decades, in…


Related posts