Iranian cyberwar capabilities are rapidly improving

Though Russia and China have emerged as the principle cyber threats to the U.S. and the West, Iran’s capabilities in this domain are rapidly improving.

In recent months Iranian hackers have conducted several successful high-profile attacks, and analysts believe Tehran’s hackers are only going to improve.

One major difference between Iran and other U.S. adversaries: Tehran’s government openly advocates cyberattacks against Iranian enemies.

The government not only recruits hackers into its cyberforces but supports their “independent” operations.

Beginning around 2012, Iran’s cyber army began going beyond merely defacing U.S. government and Western web sites into launching attacks that stole data and shut crucial sites down. Iranian hackers have also attempted to infiltrate critical U.S. financial and power infrastructure.

In one example, Iran deployed wiper malware in other acts of sabotage, most notably the 2014 attack against the Las Vegas Sands Corporation. [source]

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Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

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