Americans should be on heightened alert for cyberattacks after Iran fired more than a dozen missiles at two military bases in Iraq where U.S. troops are stationed late Tuesday, security researchers say. Iran could target private businesses and government infrastructure to avenge last week's killing of its top military commander as tensions between Tehran and Washington reach one of their highest points since the 1979 Iranian revolution. "I am not predicting it will happen, but if it happens, I won't be surprised," said Steven Bellovin, a computer science professor at Columbia University School of Engineering. A cyber conflict has been silently raging for years. In retaliation for the U.S. drone strike that killed Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad last week, Iran could target the power and electricity you use, the smart devices you carry or your bank account, security experts say.
An explosive-laden drone, sent by the Islamic State group (ISIS), was intercepted and shot by Kurdish forces in Iraq early this month, according to reports Tuesday. However, the drone blew up and killed two Kurdish fighters and injured two French soldiers. The incident reportedly happened on Oct. 2 in Erbil, which serves as the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, where French troops have been fighting along with Kurdish fighters against ISIS, according to the New York Times and French newspaper Le Monde. Neither Iraqi officials nor French authorities have confirmed the incident. About 500 French military personnel have been deployed in Iraq to fight ISIS.
DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – An unarmed Iranian drone shadowed a U.S. aircraft carrier at night and came close enough to F-18 fighter jets to put the lives of American pilots at risk, the Navy said Tuesday, reporting the second such tense encounter within a week. The Iranian Sadegh drone flew without any warning lights during the encounter Sunday night with the USS Nimitz, said Lt. Ian McConnaughey, a spokesman for the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet. The drone did not respond to repeated calls over the radio and came within 1,000 feet (300 meters) of U.S. fighters, he said. That "created a dangerous situation with the potential for collision and is not in keeping with international maritime customs and laws," McConnaughey said in a statement. The drone was unarmed, the lieutenant said, though that model can carry missiles.
NYU Tandon School of Engineering professor Justin Cappos talks about Iran's cyberwar capabilities following the death of Gen. Qassem Soleimani in a US strike and what we should do to protect ourselves. Cybersecurity expert Justin Cappos warns that Iran has already "proven it's both adept at launching cyberattacks and that those attacks can cause real damage" in the wake of the death of Gen. Qassem Soleimani in a U.S. drone strike. In an interview with Fox News, the NYU Tandon School of Engineering professor pointed to previous cyberattacks launched by Iran that he says illustrate the country has both the means and the willingness to go on the attack and damage American interests. In 2016, the Justice Department charged seven hackers linked to the Iranian government with executing large-scale coordinated cyberattacks on dozens of banks as well as a small dam outside New York City -- intrusions that law enforcement officials said reached into America's infrastructure, disrupted the nation's financial system and cost tens of millions of dollars. Professor Cappos said that because of the previous attacks and current turmoil, it is vital that people take measures to protect their systems.
Iranian state television published images on its website Friday morning that claimed show debris from a U.S. military surveillance drone the country shot down Thursday. The pictures appear to show the skin of the U.S. Navy RQ-4A Global Hawk, which was shot down by a surface-to-air missile. The downing of the drone came just days after the administration blamed Iran for attacks on two oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz, adding to tensions in the region. The United States made a last-minute decision to call off retaliatory strikes against Iran in response to the downing Thursday of a Navy drone that Washington said was over international airspace, a source told Fox News early Friday. But few details about the aborted mission and the circumstances that led to the reversal were available.