As it weighs further response to the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani, Iran is almost certain to consider the use of cyber attacks. We talk with Levi Gundert at the firm Recorded Future about what cyber “payback” from Tehran might look like.
When missiles from Iran landed near U.S. military bases in Iraq, the world assumed that it was an escalation of tensions between Iran and the U.S. in response to the January 3rd U.S drone assassination of General Qasem Soleimani, a high-ranking member of the Iranian government and the architect of the country’s Middle East policy.
But fears of a shooting war between the U.S. and Iran have eased in the days following the Iranian missile launch, which caused no U.S. casualties and little damage and which were followed by mollifying comments from both the Iranian and U.S. leadership.
Disaster averted? Not so fast.
Levi Gundert, Recorded Future
Disaster averted? Not so fast, say Middle East experts. “Killing Soleimani crossed a significant threshold in the US-Iran conflict,” Kiersten Todt, managing director of the Cyber Readiness Institute told CNN. “Iranians will certainly try to retaliate — definitely in the region and they will also look at options in our homeland. Of the options available to them, cyber is most compelling.”
Government, Private Sector Unprepared for 21st Century Cyber Warfare
With Iran’s kinetic response mostly symbolic, speculation is now focused on the cyber theater, where Iran’s government has used hacking to advance both domestic and geopolitical objectives before. In recent memory, for example, the country tapped the Chafer hacking group to target aviation repair and maintenance firms in 2018 in an apparent effort to obtain information needed to shore up the safety of that country’s fleet of domestic aircraft, according to research by the firm Symantec.
Those concerns prompted the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to issue a warning to private sector firms to prepare for the worst. But what might “the worst” look like?
Episode 80: APT Three Ways
A well-developed Offensive Cyber Program
Iran has a well-developed offensive cyber program and has been linked to attacks against public and private interests in Saudi Arabia, the United States and Europe, according to experts. The country already has successfully executed several known major cyber attacks against the United States, with two notable ones occurring in a href="https://www.nytimes.