Security experts and the United States government are worried about a possible back clash from the Iran amid rising tension between two countries. The tension rose to its head after the President of the United States, Donald Trump authorized a high level execution of the top Iranian General on January 2nd 2020. Many security experts and business worry about an all out cyber attack that will be in retaliation for the actions the United States administration had carried out in the start of the New Year. The high level killing that Donald Trump administration carried out was of Major General Qasem Sloeimani. Soleimani was the leader of the foreign wing of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The attack was carried out with the help of a drone that killed the commander of Iran’s elite forces.
The incident carried out near Baghdad International Airport by a U.S, drone strike. As soon as the attack was carried out and the general was killed, the news spread like wild fire. Soon after the attack a diplomatic crisis erupted with many governments rapidly moving to try to de-escalate the tension and bring some calmness in the war torn region. But the administration has warned the top organizations and other multinational corporations to stay alert for cyber attack that might be the carried out by Iran backed hackers in the coming days.
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Organizations should brace for such attacks and take precautionary steps, to steer away from the danger cyber attacks can have on the infrastructure and information of the company. Iran has a well known domestic program that has the ability to launch Cyberattacks against the United States according to the time, which suit them. According to Rick Holland, CISO of San Francisco based security firm Digital Shadow in an interview to a media group told that the cyberspace proxy war between the US and the Iran is not new and now after the death of the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard commander, it will definitely escalate.
The attacks can result Iran cyber security program to launch “Wiper Attack” on institutions across the country that are of prime importance. The line of code is written and programmed in such a way that the system in which it attacks, leaves it unrecoverable and unusable until and unless the organization has a solid back up. Iran has caused disruption in the organization in the past, the most popular is the attack they carried against Saudi Aramco, that destroyed 30,000 computers, the second attack was when the hackers targeted Las Vegas Sands casino 2014 which also led to a wide spread loss for the casino. Western Intelligence agencies have figured out four nations that will pose serious challenges to the critical infrastructure to the United States. The four nations are Russia, China North Korea and Iran.
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Although the four nations pose a serious threat to the cyber security infrastructure, there capabilities are not at par when compared among them. After the killing of the general of Islamic Revolutionary Guard, Department of Homeland Security issued a terrorism threat alert warning that Iranian attacks in the past have involved in the scouting, searching for vulnerable weak links in the United States institutions. Hacking continues to offer Iran an asymmetric way to gain support for its cause and generate momentum in the ongoing battle against the super power. If carried out with exact precision and well thought out strategy in place, it can be used to express outrage while avoiding a physical or kinetic response from its targets.
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