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U.S. launched cyberattacks on Iranian military computers last week

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON - U.S. military cyberforces launched a strike against Iranian military computer systems on Thursday as President Donald Trump backed away from plans for a more conventional military strike in response to Iran's downing of a U.S. surveillance drone, U.S. officials said Saturday. Two officials told The Associated Press that the strikes were conducted with approval from Trump. A third official confirmed the broad outlines of the strike. All spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the operation. The cyberattacks -- a contingency plan developed over weeks amid escalating tensions -- disabled Iranian computer systems that controlled its rocket and missile launchers, the officials said.


Iran Conflict Could Shift To Cyberspace, Experts Warn

NPR Technology

Experts say Iran may retaliate for the killing of Qassem Soleimani, its top military leader, with cyber attacks on American companies. Experts say Iran may retaliate for the killing of Qassem Soleimani, its top military leader, with cyber attacks on American companies. Cybersecurity researchers and U.S. government officials said hackers linked to Iran are probing American companies for vulnerabilities. The warnings suggest that the next phase of hostilities between the U.S. and Iran, following the Jan. 3 killing of a top Iranian general in an American drone strike, is likely to play out in cyberspace. The Iranian regime is accused of being behind some high-profile online operations against American targets in recent years.


Cyberwar: A guide to the frightening future of online conflict

ZDNet

Cyberwar: Here's what you need to know. At its core, cyberwarfare is the use of digital attacks by one country or nation to disrupt the computer systems of another with the aim of create significant damage, death or destruction. What does cyberwarfare look like? Cyberwar is still an emerging concept, but many experts are concerned that it is likely to be a significant component of any future conflicts. As well as troops using conventional weapons like guns and missiles, future wars will also be fought by hackers using computer code to attack an enemy's infrastructure. Europe, Canada, USA, Australia, and others are now running training exercises to prepare for the outbreak of cyberwar.


Once called 'kittens' in the cyberspy world, Iran gains prowess: security experts

The Japan Times

FRANKFURT – Hackers probably linked to Iran's government have hit Saudi and Western aerospace and petrochemical firms, marking a rise in Iranian cyberspying prowess, security firm FireEye said on Wednesday, an assessment shared by other U.S. experts. A FireEye report on Wednesday dubbed the hacker group APT33 and offered evidence of its activities since 2013 in seeking to steal aviation and military secrets, while also gearing up for attacks that might cripple entire computer networks. In a separate but related move last week, the U.S. Treasury Department added two Iran-based hacking networks and eight individuals to a U.S. sanctions list, accusing them of taking part in cyber-enabled attacks on the U.S. financial system. Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, elements of which were also added to the U.S. sanctions list, was not immediately available for comment when contacted by phone by Reuters on Wednesday, the end of the country's working week. FireEye identified APT33 after it was called in to investigate cyberattacks on a U.S. aviation organization, a Saudi business conglomerate with aviation holdings and a South Korean group with interests in oil refining and petrochemicals.


Iranian Hackers Turn to Ransomware, Bitcoin as Economy Stalls

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

The software Accenture discovered contains a number of digital clues linking it to Iran. Some samples contain messages in the Farsi language and link to computers based in Iran, it said, while others are designed to avoid locking up Iranian computer systems with ransomware. Accenture warned of Iran's hacking ambitions in a report Tuesday. It outlines hacking activities attributed to the Iranian government, though the company says the ransomware it has found could have been created by government-backed actors or Iranian criminals, or both. Ransomware has grown into a scourge for both governments and businesses.