Iran may have been behind recent wave of cyberattacks

U.S. intelligence analysts believe that Iran was likely behind a serious wave of network attacks that struck computers in the Saudi oil sector and also hit U.S. financial institutions, reports the New York Times.

The attacks subsequently prompted U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to issue warnings that America is at risk of experiencing a "cyber-Pearl Harbor," the story said.

The intelligence analysts suspect that Iran's "cybercorps" established in 2011 may have been conducting counterattacks in response to Israeli cyberattacks on the Iranian nuclear enrichment plant at Natanz, the story said. However, here is no hard evidence that the attacks were sanctioned by the Iranian government.

The damage from the attack was modest, and those following the attacks note that Iran's cyberwarfare capabilities are inferior to those of China and Russia, which have probed U.S. defenses seeking to steal intellecutal property and disrupt the business of American companies and government agenices.

Panetta described the recent cyberattack on Saudi Aramco, which has been bolstering supplies to customers who can no longer obtain oil from Iran because of Western sanctions, "probably the most destructive attack that the private sector has seen to date."


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