But that does not mean that Iran is off the hook and that was shown as President Trump gave the approval for the Pentagon to use cyber attacks against the regime, The Washington Post reported.
The cyber strikes, launched Thursday night by personnel with U.S. Cyber Command, were in the works for weeks if not months, according to two of these people, who said the Pentagon proposed launching them after Iran’s alleged attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman earlier this month.
The strike against the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps was coordinated with U.S. Central Command, the military organization with purview of activity through the Middle East, these people said. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because operation remains extremely sensitive.
The operation, though crippling to Iran’s military command and control systems, did not involve a loss of life or civilian casualties in contrast to military strikes on Iran, which the president said he called back Thursday because they would not be “proportionate.”
The White House declined to comment, as did officials at U.S. Cyber Command. Pentagon spokeswoman Elissa Smith said.
“As a matter of policy and for operational security, we do not discuss cyberspace operations, intelligence or planning,” Smith said.
“This operation imposes costs on the growing Iranian cyber threat, but also serves to defend the United States Navy and shipping operations in the Strait of Hormuz,” Thomas Bossert, a former Trump administration senior White House cyber official, said.
“Our U.S. military has long known that we could sink every IRGC vessel in the strait within 24 hours if necessary.
“And this is the modern version of what the U.S. Navy has to do to defend itself at sea and keep international shipping lanes free from Iranian disruption,” he said.
The cyber operation against Iran was extremely disabling and devastating, a person familiar with the attack told The Post.
“This is not something they can put back together so easily,” the person said on the condition of anonymity.
The Department of Homeland Security on Saturday said that Iranian cyber attackers pose a threat to the United States too.
“There’s no question that there’s been an increase in Iranian cyber activity,” Christopher Krebs, the director of DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said.
“Iranian actors and their proxies are not just your garden variety run-of-the-mill data thieves. These are the guys that come in and they burn the house down.”
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“We need everyone to take the current situation very seriously. Look at any potential incidents that you have and treat them as a worst-case scenario.
“This is not you waiting until you have a data breach . . . This is about losing control of your environment, about losing control of your computer,” he said.
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