After being the target of cyber attacks from the West and crippling economic sanctions for their controversial nuclear program, Iran has waged a campaign of retaliation with its own cyber attacks against major U.S. banks and energy firms in the Arab World during the past month. This cyber onslaught has been described by U.S officials and cyber security experts as among the biggest cyber attacks ever witnessed.
These cyber attacks are likely a retaliatory measure against economic sanctions orchestrated by the U.S. and its Arab allies, which have effectively crippled Iran’s currency and thereby, substantially, undermined the stability of the Iranian economy.
Given the gravity of these attacks, the U.S. and its allies must brace themselves for further attacks. They must also seek to actively deter Iran from launching further attacks. Passivity will not cut it when an opposing nation-state attacks you critical infrastructure – the financial and energy sectors – and Iran should be promptly dealt with.
The “Cyber Pearl Harbor” of September
The U.S. banks’ websites, which were the targets of Iranian distributed denial of service attacks (DDOS), were severely hampered in their ability to provide the banks’ customers a smooth or even functional online banking experience. In short the DDOS attacks have made it very difficult to do any sort of online banking for the banks affected by the attacks. Among the victims are Bank of America, Citigroup, JP Morgan & Chase, and Wells Fargo, which constitute all of the biggest banks in America.