News in indicate that The United States carried out a secret cyber operation against Iran in the wake of the Sept. 14 attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities, two U.S. officials say. Washington and Riyadh blame Tehran for the oil facility attacks.
The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the operation took place in late September and took aim at Tehran’s ability to spread “propaganda.”
One of the officials said the strike affected physical hardware, but they did not provide further details.
The cyberattack highlights how President Donald Trump’s administration has been trying to counter what it sees as Iranian aggression without spiralling into a broader conflict.
When asked about the cyberattack, Iran’s minister of communications and information technology, Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi, said Wednesday that “they must have dreamt it,” Fars news agency reported.
Gulf tensions escalate
The impact of the attack, if any, could take months to determine, but cyberstrikes are seen as a less-provocative option below the threshold of war.
“You can do damage without killing people or blowing things up; it adds an option to the toolkit that we didn’t have before and our willingness to use it is important,” said James Lewis, a cybersecurity expert with the Washington-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies.
Lewis added it may not be possible to deter Iranian behaviour with even conventional military strikes.
Tensions in the Gulf have escalated sharply since May 2018, when Trump withdrew from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Tehran that put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the easing of sanctions.
It was unclear whether there have been other U.S. cyberattacks since the one in late September , News source is CBS news.