Even as negotiators from the United States and five other nations pursue a final agreement with Iran aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear ambitions and preventing development of a nuclear weapon, a new security report from the U.S. State Department reveals that Iran’s offensive threat in a non-nuke realm is growing substantially. The Washington Free Beacon says a group called the Overseas Security Advisory Council warns that the mullah-controlled regime has become a “sophisticated cyber adversary.”
“Iran is rapidly building cyber warfare capabilities and recent reports suggest Tehran is set to conduct cyber attacks on global critical infrastructures, according to a State Department security report.”
The Free Beacon article by Bill Gertz goes on to note that Iran’s cyber warfare capabilities are not theoretical, but actual, as the nation is believed to have been involved in digital attacks possibly in preparation for an assault on “global critical infrastructure.”
“Iranian hackers have been suspected in multiple incidents that inflicted damage on various entities in the private sector, including finance and energy firms,” according to the five-page report, “Pistachios and Saffron: Investigating the Iranian Cyber Threat.”
According to the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Iranian hackers have been honing their skills and improving their capabilities in attacks on banks and even on a Las Vegas casino. The Free Beacon says that Clapper revealed that malicious activity during congressional testimony.
“Clapper stated that Iran regards cyber attacks as one of many tools for conducting asymmetric, proportional retaliation against its enemies. The Iranians were behind the cyber attacks against U.S. banks and the Sands, Clapper said.”
Ironically, according to a report in The Hill, the nuclear deal the Obama administration is so intent on signing with Iran could actually provide the Islamic regime with additional funds to develop its extremely dangerous cyber warfare capabilities.
“Experts say Tehran might use the economic sanctions relief from the nuclear pact to buttress its growing cyber program, which has already infiltrated critical networks in over a dozen countries, including the U.S.”
This is a big reason that some intelligence analysts and national security experts say that Tehran has Washington over a barrel when it comes to stopping or slowing the nuclear threat while potentially accelerating the cyber threat.
“’We’re in a lose-lose situation from that standpoint,’ said Fred Kagan, a national security scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and co-author of a recent report on the Iranian cyber threat. ‘Would you rather have them do that with more resources or fewer?’”