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US Executed Cyberattack on Iranian Spy Ship in Indian Ocean: Officials

The US government launched a cyberattack against an Iranian military intelligence ship targeting cargo vessels in the Indian Ocean.

The operation was Washington’s response to a drone attack by Iran-backed militants in Iraq last month that led to the deaths of three American soldiers in Jordan, NBC reported, citing US officials.

According to the update, the cyberattack was aimed at an Iranian ship that was observed collecting information from passing vessels across the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

The attack was intended to disrupt the vessel’s functions and prevent it from sharing intelligence with Houthi rebels stationed in Yemen who fired missiles and drones at commercial ships in the region.

The news agency wrote that one of the sources with knowledge of the cyberattack said the mission involved the MV Behshad, a merchant vessel suspected of being a spy ship under private Iranian firm Rahbaran Omid Darya Ship Management Company and developed by Beijing’s Guangzhou International Shipyard.

Meanwhile, the US National Security Council declined to relay additional specifics and referred clarifications to the Pentagon, which refused to comment.

The MV Behshad

In documentation published by the US-based Institute for the Study of War, MV Behshad is said to likely be an espionage asset controlled by the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp that “provides Houthis with real-time intelligence.”

Earlier records of military activities in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden showed that either the merchant vessel or its predecessor, the “Saviz,” were responsible for feeding the Yemen-based Houthis data as well as explosive drones.

“The Saviz might have similarly been supporting Houthi attacks on commercial tankers in the Bab al Mandab Strait and facilitating the smuggling of personnel and materials into Yemen via small dhows prior to the Israeli limpet mine attack on the Saviz in April 2021,” the institute wrote.

During an NBC discussion with Iranian UN Ambassador Amir Saeid this month, he said that Behshad is moving throughout the Red Sea “to combat the piracy activities and is not providing intelligence to Houthi forces.”

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