The Jerusalem Post reports Iran has recently decided to invest somewhere near one billion dollars to increase both cyber defensive and offensive capabilities.
The news comes on the heels of reports that Iran may now be in possession of several advanced U.S. military reconnaissance drones, including a Lockheed RQ-170.
The downing of the highly sophisticated unmanned aerial vehicle has caused a flurry of speculation in the media after the Iranian government claimed to have hijacked the unit's systems and taken manual control of the device.
American officials have downplayed the likelihood that Iran has the technical capability to overtake the RQ-170's systems and said the drone was probably lost due to mechanical failure.
News of Iran's investment in advanced cyber capabilities also follows the release of an investigative report produced by Univision which contains alarming footage of Iranian Ambassador Mohammad Hassan Ghadiri discussing the use of cyber attacks targeting the FBI, CIA, White House, and nuclear power plant systems in the United States.
Iran is still struggling with the aftermath of the Stuxnet virus attacks more than a year after the infestation was discovered. The virus specifically targeted Siemens PLCs used to control uranium enrichment centrifuges and is thought to have set back the country's nuclear weapons program by as much as several years.
The Jerusalem Post also reports that Iran's push for cyber superiority has spurred the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) to establish a task force similarly aimed at the development of improved cybersecurity.
“Israel is under a threat and we could already have experienced a silent infiltration that will be activated when the enemy wants. We need to be prepared for the possibility that critical infrastructure will be paralyzed," chairman of the Israel Electric Corporation Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yiftach Ron- Tal said.