The political mess that our country is in, much in part due to the work of the Trump Administration, is getting even further complicated. Just last year, Kim Jong Un and Trump were blasting away at each other as to who had the largest nuclear arsenal, and today, it seems like things have been calming down after their first meeting. But now, we face a new threat from what the from what George W. Bush termed as an “axis of evil”: Iran.
In my view, I thought that Obama had a done a great job working out a deal with Iran in order to curb their appetite for nuclear weapons. But once again, Trump is undoing it all, making a new enemy out of Iran, by slapping on more sanctions, and by pulling out of the 2015 nuclear deal. And, the newest and even harshest sanctions as of yet were slapped onto Iran just this past Tuesday.
Although the recent Cyber intelligence does not indicate yet a specific strike or target, there is chatter and growing worry, much in a way like a horrible storm is about to brew: “While we have no specific threats, we have seen an increase in chatter related to Iranian threat activity over the past several weeks,” said Priscilla Moriuchi, director of strategic threat development at Recorded Future, a global real-time cyber threat intelligence company. (SOURCE: https://www.securityweek.com/us-braces-possible-cyberattacks-after-iran-sanctions).
In fact, this same group from which I took the above quote from has predicted some sort of large scale Cyber attack from Iran since May. But fortunately, nothing has happened yet. However, Iran is not alone that the United States perceives as a “Cyber-enemy”. This black list includes the countries of Russia, China, and North Korea (despite the cooling tensions).
In fact, Cyber based attacks from Iran is nothing new. Back between the time periods of 2012-2014, Iran launched a number of Cyber attacks which hit some major banking institutions here in the United States, and caused millions of dollars in damages. But luckily, Cyber terrorist groups from Iran have not targeted any critical infrastructures here in the US . . . at least not yet.
But, Iran may not to be blame entirely for its recent aggressiveness. The United States is no innocent victim either in this. For instance, Several years ago, the top-secret Stuxnet computer virus destroyed key centrifuges that were involved in Iran’s contested nuclear program.
Stuxnet, which was an American and Israeli creation, caused thousands of centrifuges at the Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility to “spin” themselves to destruction. The sanctions that were imposed on Tuesday of last week including prohibiting U.S. dollar financial transactions, the growth of Iran’s automotive sector, as well as the purchase of commercial planes and metals, including gold.
Also, another major factor in slapping on new sanctions was to curtail Iran’s ability to fund fighters that it supports in both Yemen and Syria.
And Trump is not stopping here either. He plans to invoke harsher sanctions in November (targeting their oil industry), and even key European leaders are dismayed by these actions. The unfortunate timing of all this is that these come at a juncture when its unemployment rate is rising, the country’s currency has virtually but all collapsed and demonstrators protesting social issues and labor unrest right outside of Iran’s capital, Tehran.
In response to all of this, General Qassem Soleimani, who is the head of the elite Quds Force of Iran’s hard-line paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, has sent rather stern warnings late last month about Iran’s potential to launch an “asymmetric war.” In other words, this would be a nontraditional warfare that will include Cyber based attacks.
But whatever Cyber threats are launched from Iran, they will no doubt be devastating, even more so than the ones from Russia, at least according to this quote: “Iran’s cyber activities against the world have been the most consequential, costly and aggressive in the history of the internet, more so than Russia. … The Iranians are destructive cyber operators.” (SOURCE: https://www.securityweek.com/us-braces-possible-cyberattacks-after-iran-sanctions).
If any Cyber attack is launched from within Iran, it is expected that it will not target any of its European allies; rather, all eyes will be on total destruction of the United States IT Infrastructure. They could range anywhere from scanning networks for potential vulnerabilities to data-deletion attacks to even impersonating Israeli and Western cyber security firm websites in order to harvest and exploit log-in information.
Rather, the intention of the Iranian Cyber attacker is to launch extremely pinpointed Cyber attacks that will cause millions more in economic damage to Corporate America.
My thoughts on this? To be honest, don’t expect to see any Cyber attacks to be launched soon. As I have repeatedly mentioned in the past, the Cyber attacker of today is taking their own sweet time to choose their targets, profile them, research them, all in an effort to find their weakest spots or vulnerabilities. Then once that has been determined, it is time to strike like a Black Mamba striking at its prey.
To the Trump Administration: To put it bluntly, stop acting like a bullied little kid, especially you, Mr. Trump. Yes, you may not have at all liked or even agreed with anything about Barack Obama. But he has done some works that have actually benefitted humanity to some degree or another, and you are simply undoing them in order to tell other nations “You’re Fired”.
In response to this, you are more provoking more hatred around the world against the United States, and yes, because of this, this could very well provoke a Cyber attack that could literally cripple the entire United States.
So Mr. Trump, in closing, let’s try to act like a normal, mature adult and try to get along with everybody else in the world, whether you like them or not.