Iran’s cyberspies will use cryptocurrency to fund information warfare against the West, warns an ex-CIA officer.
US cryptocurrency expert Yaya Fanusie says that it is likely Tehran will step up cyberattacks and propaganda against the US despite tensions easing following the US assassination of an Iranian general and a retaliatory Iranian airstrike on an American military base.
In a Coin Rivet article for the Daily Express, Mr Fanusie said: “Because cyberattacks are a form of asymmetric warfare with plausible deniability, it makes sense that Iran would use them to strike back.
“Crypto could play a role in that.”
Mr Fanusie, now adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security think tank, says Iran is likely to use cryptocurrency to fund disinformation tactics in the upcoming US election, similar to how Russia used digital currency as part of its alleged interference in the previous campaign.
“Crypto helped Russia mount that operation to purchase VPNs, rent computer servers, and buy domain names – it was mostly paid for in Bitcoin,” he said.
“The US needs to understand information warfare is a growing part of cyber. It’s relatively easy to do a social media campaign with bots and the like.
“Crypto plays a role as you can hide your identity when purchasing these tools.”
Cybersecurity experts and government officials have already seen a spike in activity from pro-Iranian hackers and social media users.
Iran has been hit with severe economic sanctions by the US, and the Iranian government has been probing the use of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin to dodge such sanctions.