President Trump approved an offensive cyber strike that disabled Iranian computer systems for controlling missile and rocket launches, although he withdrew from a conventional military attack on Thursday after shooting down an unmanned US surveillance drone are familiar.
The cyber strikes launched Thursday night by cybercommand staff members have been on for weeks or months, according to two of these individuals. The Pentagon suggested they launch attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman earlier this month following Iran's accusation.
The strike against the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps was coordinated with the US Central Command, the military organization operating throughout the Middle East. They spoke of the condition of anonymity because the operation remains extremely sensitive.
Although it paralyzed Iran's military command and control systems, the operation meant no loss of life or civilian casualties ̵
The government warned industry officials against cyberattacks from Iran on Saturday.
The White House declined to comment, as did the representatives of the US cybercommand. Elsewhere, Pentagon spokeswoman Elissa Smith said, "For political and operational security reasons, we're not discussing cyberspace operations, intelligence services, or planning."
The cyber strikes were first reported by Yahoo News.
"This operation will incur costs over the increasing threat of the Iranian Internet, but will also serve to defend the US Navy and the shipping operations in the Strait of Hormuz," said Thomas Bossert, a former high-level White House cyber officer in the Trump administration.
"Our US military has long known that we could sink any IRGC ship within 24 hours in the strait if necessary. And this is the modern version of what the US Navy needs to do to defend itself at sea and keep international shipping routes free from Iranian disruption.
The strike against the IRGC on Thursday was the first offensive demonstration since Cyber Command was raised to full combat command in May. New presidential authorities have been set up to simplify the approval process for such measures. It is also a reflection of a new cyber-command strategy – called "defending forward" – which its leader, General Paul Nakasone, has defined as operating "against our enemies in their virtual territory".
Cybercom launched an operation against Russia Last autumn, the Internet trolls affiliated with the Internet Research Agency were denied the opportunity to exercise political influence on US social media platforms. The operation against Iran, however, was more serious.
"This is not something they can put together so easily," said a person who, like others, was not authorized to speak for the record.
The digital strike was an example of what was national, two security advisors John Bolton said when he recently suggested that the United States reinforce its offensive cyber activities. "We are now opening up and expanding the areas in which we want to operate," said Bolton at a conference in the Wall Street Journal.
The United States appointed the IRGC in April in response to its initiative as a foreign terrorist organization destabilizing behavior in the Middle East.
Iranian cyber forces have been attempting to hack US naval vessels and navigation capabilities in the Gulf region in recent years. The Strait of Hormuz is a strategically important sea lane through which about one fifth of the world's oil flows daily.
On Saturday, the Department of Homeland Security warned US industry that Iran has intensified its cyber attacks "There is no question that Iran's cyber activity has increased," said Christopher Krebs, director of DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. "Iranian actors and their deputies are not just the usual thieves in your garden. These are the people who come in and burn down the house. Krebs
said in an interview, "We need anyone who takes the current situation very seriously. Consider possible incidents and treat them as a worst-case scenario. Do not wait until you have a data breach . , , This is about losing control of your environment, losing control of your computer .
He said the "shift in geopolitical dynamics" has taken into account the agency's warning.
The National Security Agency also urged the industry to do so vigilantly. "In times of mounting tensions, it is appropriate for everyone to look for signs of Iranian aggression in cyberspace and to ensure that adequate defenses are in place," NSA spokesman Greg Julian said in a statement on Saturday's attacks in the past. In 2012, the Shamoon virus was launched, nearly destroying more than 30,000 corporate network computers and erasing data backups at Saudi Aramco, a state-owned oil company. Saudi Arabia and Iran are bitter opponents.
Private analysts have documented a gradual increase in cyberactivity of Iran and its deputies over the US industry since 2014. This was often done in the form of spearphishing attempts to gain access to computer systems on the Internet energy sector.
"Activity has accelerated over the last year," said Robert M. Lee, co-founder of cyber company Dragos of cyber operations for the National Security Agency and US Cyber conducted command from 2011 to 2015 . "In the last six months we have seen another hike. And last week we saw extra activities. "
" The reality is that we have been seeing more and more aggressive activity for some time, "he said," It's getting worse. "