Computer hacking

Iran's history of hacking and being hacked

Illustration of a photocopied image of a keyboard with elements of the Iranian flag
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Given last week's flurry of U.S. cyberattacks against Tehran, Iran's history of retaliating with cyberattacks might raise a few eyebrows. But more concerning might be Iran's history of learning new strategies from other nations' cyberattacks.

The big picture: In 2009, Iran became the first known target of cyber warfare. Its history with cyber conflict is long, and could be used to inform how the current moment might play out.

Report: China-linked group hacked 10 international cellphone providers

A Chinese espionage group appears to have hacked 10 international cellphone providers to track calling data on 20 dissidents, military officials, spies and law enforcement agents, according to a report from the cybersecurity firm Cybereason reported on in the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: Though we don't have any details on who the victims are or exactly why they were targeted, China could potentially use tracked phone records to tell if a highly placed individual was another country's intelligence asset or follow the movements of an activist.