Government sources claimed a U.S. cyber attack on Iran following the downing of an American drone near the Strait of Hormuz.
According to Washington Post sources, President Trump greenlit a long-in-the-making cyberattack that took down Iranian missile control computers on the night of 20 June. The reported operation was executed by U.S. Cyber Command (USCC). While the exact impact of the operation isn’t clear, it was described as “crippling,” according to one anonymous source.
News of the attack likely indicates a new willingness of the Trump administration to use cyber-weapons as a retaliation option. Reports about the alleged cyber offensive came days after word of the U.S. planting offensive malware in Russia’s power grid. Earlier this month, national security adviser John Bolton said the U.S. was “broadening the areas” where it was prepared to use cyberwarfare. This trend is not surprising. The administration has long put an emphasis on the information sphere in the context of national security. It was Trump who elevated America’s cyber assets to the status of a unified command back in 2017.
Meanwhile, Tehran is denying any U.S. cyber attack on Iran had taken place. “The media are asking about the veracity of the alleged cyberattack against Iran. No successful attack has been carried out by them, although they are making a lot of effort,” telecommunications minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi tweeted on 24 June. Of course this should not come as a surprise. Even after the infamous Stuxnet worm devastated a fifth of Iran’s nuclear hardware, the Mullahs refused to acknowledge the malware produced any serious damage.