Iran first connects to the internet.
Internet access becomes increasingly common, with hundreds of thousands of Iranians going online on a regular basis.
The Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution issues rules on internet access, including mandatory filtering and surveillance of sites considered politically, culturally, and religiously subversive.
The hacking forum Ashiyane is created, serving as a catalyst for Iran’s hacking community and later implicated in facilitating the Iranian government’s repression of dissidents.
Sina Motalebi is arrested, one of the first bloggers in the world arrested for their online writings, commencing a crackdown on internet expression.
Hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is elected president of Iran, marking a new era of domestic repression and international hostility.
Iranian threat actors begin to develop tools and conduct campaigns.
The contested reelection of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad provokes Iran’s largest popular uprising since 1979, known as the Green Movement.
The Iranian Cyber Army defaces Twitter—taking it offline for several hours—in response to the Green Movement.
An Iranian hacker breaches Dutch security firm DigiNotar, allowing the Iranian government to spy on Gmail users in Iran. This remains one of the largest security breaches in the history of the internet.
Iranian oil infrastructure is targeted by sabotage malware agents Flame and Wiper.
New York Times reporter David Sanger makes public the details of Operation Olympic Games. One of the most sophisticated cyber attacks in history, the operation was begun by the United States and Israel in 2007 to covertly sabotage Iran’s nuclear infrastructure.
The Madi malware agent, the first Iranian-attributed espionage cyber campaign, is disclosed.
Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil company, has data destroyed by the malware agent Shamoon.
The first denial-of-service attacks against U.S. banks in what is known as Operation Ababil.
Pragmatic cleric Hassan Rouhani is elected president of Iran, with the promise of improving Iran’s economy by resolving the nuclear standoff.
Announcement of nuclear negotiations between the United States, China, Russia, UK, France, and Germany and Iran, resulting in an interim agreement.
The nuclear deal is finalized, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
November 2016–January 2017
Cyber attacks against Saudi Arabia are renewed in Shamoon 2.