Cyber-war: In deed and desire, Iran emerging as a major power

a13-iconChristian Science Monitor reports: As high-level international talks in Vienna over Iran’s nuclear program edged closer to a deal last fall, something curious happened – massive cyber-attacks that had hammered Wall Street bank websites repeatedly for about a year slowed to a near stop.

While banking industry officials were relieved, others wondered why those Iran-linked “distributed denial of service” attacks that had so regularly flooded bank websites with bogus Internet traffic were shut off like a faucet. One likely reason, say US experts on cyber-conflict: to reduce friction, at least temporarily, at the Vienna nuclear talks.

Yet, even as the “distributed denial of service” attacks abated for apparently diplomatic reasons, overall Iranian cyber-spying on US military and energy corporation networks has surged, these experts say.

Iran was fingered last fall, for instance, for infiltrating the US Navy Marine Corps Intranet. It then took the Navy nearly four months to root out the Iranian hackers infesting its largest unclassified computer network, the Wall Street Journal reported in February.

This litany of Iranian activity is evidence, say experts, that after years as a cyber also-ran, Iran is morphing swiftly into a major threat in the rapidly evolving era of cyber-conflict. [Continue reading…]

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