An analysis made by Reuters identified 10 different websites and dozens of social media accounts through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. (Shutterstock)

September 6, 2018

Several cyber-security companies reported that Iran is leading a huge network as part of “influencing campaigns” on several countries to market its nuclear agreement or to propagate the Iranian regime’s discourse.

The Iranian influence campaigns targets online users around the world at a much larger scale than what was once thought. It includes a huge network of unknown websites and accounts on social media in 11 languages, according to a recent Reuters report.

Facebook and other companies had announced last week that many social media accounts and websites were part of an Iranian project to secretly influence public opinion in other countries.

An analysis made by Reuters identified 10 different websites and dozens of social media accounts through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

A man poses with a magnifier in front of a Facebook logo on display in this illustration taken in Sarajevo. (Reuters)

“Fire Eye” company, which is based in the United States and the Israeli company “Clear Sky” had reviewed Reuters’ findings and confirmed that the technical indicators showed that the websites network that had been recently identified and social media accounts were part of similar campaigns based in Tehran.

The technical indicators of the cybersecurity international company revealed that a fake institution had been established by the Iranian entities in Tehran; it is called the “International Union for the virtual media” IUVM. It exploits the Iranian government media, blocks the original source of information and spreads lies and misleading information.

This fake institution used Iranian government-backed channels, like Press TV, Fars News Agency and al-Manar TV of the Lebanese Hezbollah militant group, it broadcast misleading information through its accounts.

According to the report, several groups belong to the state, are exploiting social media to manipulate users and promote geopolitical goals. None of these three media groups had responded to Reuters’ request to comment on the recent report.

Twitter had its slowest user growth last year – it now boasts just over 300 million users – and was eclipsed by photo-sharing app Instagram. (Reuters)

During the past few days Google, Facebook and Twitter launched a campaign to close hundreds of accounts managed by Iranian security and information entities; as part of organized Cyber-attacks leading a misleading media campaigns and promotes an Iranian geopolitical agenda around the world.

Google in cooperation with the electronic security company Fire Eye, managed to find a link between the accounts and Iran’s radio in a campaign dating back to January 2017.

As for Facebook and Twitter had collectively closed hundreds of the Iranian accounts that promotes the Iranian ideology and regime’s interest in Tehran; through a network of fake news websites.

Iran used these platforms by creating illusionary social figures, promoted for them through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google plus, and You Tube in a campaign that targeted used in US, Britain, Latin America and the Middle East during this month. According to the Cybersecurity companies.

The prominent researcher at the Atlantic Digital Criminal Investigation Laboratory, Ben Nemo, who had previously analyzed disinformation campaign for Facebook, said that what is called “IUVM” revealed the scope and weight of the Iranian operation.

Nemo explained that the Iranian operation depended on quantity rather than quality and remained unrestrained for several years.

Al Arabiya

About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.