Iran has made it clear, it will challenge the US in the Strait of Hormuz, in Iraq and Syria as well as in the cyber world. There have been several offensive attacks on US infrastructure, US government agencies as well as sectors of the economy is oil and gas. Iran has a small army of hackers who are working with the Islamic Republic sending waves of spear-phishing emails, seeking to exploit weaknesses in the system, according to sources (we have covered several sites and articles), from CrowdStrike and FireEye which track such attacks and phishing in particular. This string of cyber attacks is the latest battlefield in the usually silent US – Iran War.
Sure, a US drone has been downed by Iranian missiles but then the US attacked a list of military assets, including facilities as both sides seek to work in ways to figure out patterns before making the next move. The US attacked Iranian nuclear facilities in 2012 and 2013 shutting down centrifuges that make the building blocks for nuclear materials for weapons. Of course, Iran has built a better system to prevent such attacks in the future. Iran has now attacked the US, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as hackers have attempted to cause damage, again according to US firms that track these cyber crimes. Or we should call these cyber-battles in a less clear war. US Cyber Command refused to comment on the more recent attacks by Iran and their ongoing activity, but it clearly seems that activity is increasing.
Our Views: This current Cyber-War is now going to introduce a new type of conflict to the world. Note that rather dropping a bomb on the oil facilities or an airbase of the opponent, the cyber attack could just shut down all communications between bases and from command centers. Imagine a war starts and fighter jets and bombers must be alerted to gear up and take off to meet the enemy in the skies. However, the command from generals is disrupted and it comes 20 minutes late? This would be a strategic advantage for those with planes in the air. Or imagine that the first attack is on the nuclear facilities in a country. If the nuclear facilities are damaged, all resources will be focused on shutting down the reactors, diverting the attention of a government that is now being attacked. It is possible.