“Disruptive and destructive” cyberattacks could be the fallout after President Trump targeted Iran’s military leader in a drone strike.
The US killing of Iran’s top general, Qassim Suleimani, could have consequences that imminently spill over into cyberspace, experts and officials said after the deadly missile strike in Baghdad.
One senior cybersecurity official at the Department of Homeland Security, Christopher Krebs, warned American companies and government agencies to “pay close attention” to critical systems and to Iranian tools, tactics, and procedures in the wake of the attack.
While President Trump, who ordered the strike on Major General Suleimani, is reportedly sending thousands more US troops to the Middle East, cybersecurity experts warned that further conflict could happen online.
“Given the gravity of the operation last evening, we are anticipating an elevated threat from Iranian cyberthreat actors,” said John Hultquist, the director of intelligence analysis at the cybersecurity firm FireEye. “We will probably see an uptick in espionage, primarily focused on government systems, as Iranian actors seek to gather intelligence and better understand the dynamic geopolitical environment. We also anticipate disruptive and destructive cyberattacks against the private sphere.”
The warnings echoed previous alerts over the past three years as tensions between Washington and Tehran have escalated.
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