cyber attack
The online fashion store SHEIN faced a data breach that affected around 6.42 million users. Here, a laptop displays a message after being infected by a ransomware as part of a worldwide cyberattack in Geldrop, North Brabant, Netherlands, June 27, 2017. ROB ENGELAAR/AFP/Getty Images

The day Iran’s Revoluntionary Guards downed an unmanned US drone, the U.S. Cyber Command conducted a cyber strike on an Iranian spy group.

Reports said the so-called spy group is affiliated to the elite Revoluntionary Guard Corps. The group had for years, according to The Hill, digitally tracked and targeted military and civilian vessels passing through the Strait of Hormuz.

The U.S. Cyber Command did not confirm the cyber strike. Yahoo News quoted Pentagon spokeswoman Heather as saying that “as a matter of policy and for operational security, we do not discuss cyberspace operations, intelligence or planning.”

But officials said, as per Sputnik, Iranian cyber intelligence has pushed up efforts to obtain information on ships in the region. James Lewis, a cyber expert at the Washington, D.C. - based Centre for Strategic and International Studies, said the secretive Iranian cyber spies used to rely on fake social media accounts and use images of naked women to honey trap naval officers. “Oblivious to Iranian honey traps, U.S. sailors eagerly disclosed ship location and destination,” he said.

Officials said Iran’s cyber spies implement sophisticated and time-consuming methods. A U.S. government report on Iranian Cyber Threat by U.S. Homeland Security revealed that Iran has invested over $1 billion in developing its cyber capabilities. It said attacks have already been carried out against news organizations with the likes of Voice of America and BBC. “Iran may have even breached the private networks of a major Israeli financial institution. Iran is very publicly testing its cyber capabilities in the region and in time will expand its reach,” it said.

Meanwhile, tensions between the United States and Iran are escalating. Two days ago, Iran said it downed an unmanned drone in the Iranian airspace. But U.S. officials said the drone was in international territory when it was struck down by a surface-to-air missile.