U.S. braces for cyberattacks because of Iranian sanctions

National News

August 8, 2018 - 10:29 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. is bracing for cyberattacks Iran could launch in retaliation for the re-imposition of sanctions this week by President Donald Trump, intelligence experts say.
Concern over that cyber threat has been rising since May, when Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal, under which the U.S. and other world powers eased economic sanctions in exchange for curbs on Iran’s nuclear program. The experts say the threat would intensify following Washington’s move Tuesday to re-impose economic restrictions on Tehran.
“While we have no specific threats, we have seen an increase in chatter related to Iranian threat activity over the past several weeks,” said Priscilla Moriuchi, director of strategic threat development at Recorded Future, a global real-time cyber threat intelligence company. The Massachusetts-based company predicted back in May that the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear agreement would provoke a cyber response from the Iranian government within two to four months.
U.S. intelligence agencies have singled out Iran as one of the main foreign cyber threats facing America, along with Russia, China and North Korea. A wave of attacks that U.S. authorities blamed on Iran between 2012 and 2014 targeted banks and caused tens of millions of dollars in damage. They also targeted but failed to penetrate critical infrastructure.
Iran denies using its cyber capabilities for offensive purposes, and accuses the U.S. of targeting Iran. Several years ago, acomputer virus destroyed centrifuges involved in Iran’s contested nuclear program. It was widely believed to be an American and Israeli creation.

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