When the North Korean leadership was struggling with its economy, it turned to the use of bitcoin. The Iranian regime is now in the same position with regards to a flailing economy and it too has turned to bitcoin. The bitcoin is having more success in Iran that the national currency – the rial.
Former senior adviser in the U.S. State Department Antiterrorism Assistance Program and expert on cybersecurity strategy, cyberterrorism, identity theft and privacy Morgan Wright has said that in the next wave of ransomware attacks, the payment will be in bitcoin. He said that the Iranian hackers will carry out the attack imminently.
In Iran, cryptocurrencies are banned. Earlier this year, the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) announced measures that would prohibit the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies in an effort to boost the country’s suffering economy. The measures were taken by the Central Bank because the government and bank regulators have been unwilling and unequipped to monitor and supervise the digital currency issue.
The fact that citizens are banned from using it but the government planning ransomware attacks to obtain it is just another example of the corruption in Iran. The people of Iran have been calling the regime out on the corruption that is evident at all levels of leadership.
Wright said that Iran is getting involved with “cryptojacking” which is stealing the processing power of computers so that more cryptocurrencies can be obtained. One of the Iran’s main targets so far is Saudi Arabia – its arch rival in the region. The kingdom has lost millions of dollars so far.
Wright also pointed to Iran’s creation of its own digital currency as a way to get round the crippling U.S. sanctions that have just been reimposed. Regulators in the United States are not able to control such digital currencies. This means that Iran could move money around this way to evade the restrictions that traditional banks have to adhere to.
It seems like a whole big palaver but it is the only way the Iranian regime can try to keep hold of power. It has been losing its grasp for a long time now and it is becoming desperate. The international pressure on Iran is mounting, especially from the United States. The first round of sanctions took effect earlier in the month and have had a considerable impact already. The second batch is due to take effect in November and it will prove to be an additional blow to the economy.
Furthermore, the domestic pressure on the regime is mounting. People are not just protesting against the economic situation any more. They are heard chanting “Death to Khamenei! Death to Rouhani! Death to the dictator”.
Iran has already bragged about circumventing sanctions before and it is planning to do the same now. This is the next way in which the international community can target the regime. Wright has suggested something similar to the Stuxnet worm that caused havoc in the past. With the Iranian regime, it may be helpful to play it at its own game.
Source » ncr-iran