World Tension Sets Stage for Cyberattack Threat

FORT WRIGHT, Ky. — Several agencies sent out warnings about the potential of a cyberattack following the strikes against a senior Iranian military official.

Iranian leadership and several affiliated violent extremist organizations publicly stated that they intend to retaliate after the recent drone attack.

The Department of Homeland Security said, “Previous homeland-based plots have included, among other things, scouting and planning against infrastructure targets and cyber-enabled attacks against a range of US-based targets.”

Iranian hackers have made major strides in recent years. Enough to be relative to world players like North Korea, China, and Russia.

“Iran maintains a robust cyber program and can execute cyber-attacks against the United States. Iran is capable, at a minimum of carrying out attacks with temporary disruptive effects against critical infrastructure in the United States,” DHS added.

Iran has been building its cyberwarfare capabilities since 2010 when the Stuxnet virus impacted its nuclear program by destroying uranium enriching centrifuges.

Iran is known to have attacked financial institutions and probed the defenses of critical infrastructure.

The Texas Department of Information Resources has seen attempted cyberattacks state agency networks at the rate of about 10,000 per minute emanating from Iran.

Mayor Dave Hatter of Fort Wright, Kentucky is also a cybersecurity expert. Hatter said attacks could be launched against businesses, governments, individuals or some combination.

“I don’t think people really realize how reliant we are on technology and how many of these systems were not designed with security in mind,” said Hatter.

Critical infrastructure operators must remain vigilant and utilize best practices including air-gapping, firewalls, endpoint protections, intrusion detection and prevention, log monitor, security-in-depth and training employees to spot and report social engineering and potential insider threats.

Hatter recommends everyone be extra vigilant and skeptical.

Good sources of cybersecurity information include: