Iran: During a statement made yesterday by Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh released footage alleging continued hacking of U.S. drones. In 2011, members of the IRGC’s cyber-warfare unit took control of, and successfully landed an RQ-170 Sentinel drone, which had been flying over Iraq, to Iran where it was later reverse engineered. During the speech yesterday, Brigadier General Hajizadeh claimed that members of the IRGC’s Quds Force have hacked into seven or eight U.S. drones since 2011 and used them to gather intelligence on U.S. and allied operations in Iraq and Syria. Brigadier General Hajizadeh claimed that these actions were taken in retaliation for U.S. efforts to slow or stop Iran’s missile program.
While this statement was likely made in response to U.S. efforts to halt Iran’s missile program, the hacking of the drones was likely done from an intelligence gathering aspect rather than as a political statement.