Friday, July 30, 2021

U.S. General: Iran Has Improved Its Cyberattack Capabilities

General William Shelton of the U.S. Air Force told reporters that the Stuxnet attack on Iran’s centrifuges encouraged the Iranian government to strengthen its abilities to carry out cyberattacks. Many believe that Iran is behind a recent spate of attacks on U.S. banks.

Reuters reported, “Iran responded to a 2010 cyber attack on its nuclear facilities by beefing up its own cyber capabilities, and will be a ‘force to be reckoned with’ in the future, a senior U.S. Air Force official told reporters on Thursday. General William Shelton, who heads Air Force Space Command and oversees the Air Force’s cyber operations, declined to comment about Iran’s ability to disrupt U.S. government computer networks, but said Tehran had clearly increased its efforts in that arena after the 2010 incident.”

Bloomberg’s Tony Capaccio recalled, “Iran’s main uranium enrichment site at Natanz was hit in 2010 by the Stuxnet computer virus. Last year U.S. officials told the New York Times that President Barack Obama had secretly ordered stepped-up cyber attacks on that country’s nuclear program. U.S. intelligence officials and independent analysts such as Misha Glenny at Columbia University in New York have criticized the Obama White House for taking credit for the Stuxnet attack, warning that doing so would come back to haunt the administration.

InformationAge noted, “Shelton expects the Air Force to expand its 6,000-strong workforce by 1,000 people, the report said, and is repelling almost all of the millions of cyber attacks launched against Pentagon networks every day.” It added, “The US recently accused Iran of being behind denial of service attacks on several of its major banks, including Bank of America, Citigroup, Capital One and HSBC, between September and December last year.”

Computer Business Review observed, “Earlier, Iran rejected reports by US officials alleging its involvement in attacking several banks in the US, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Citigroup, Wells Fargo & Co and PNC Financial Services Group.”

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