An unnamed cyber security official was quoted by the Iranian Students News agency as saying, “If the Americans’ futile cyber-attacks do not stop, it will face a teeth-breaking response.”
The threat comes after previous occasions, when Iran has accused the U.S and its allies of using cyber-weapons. It is, in fact, no secret that as the Western world leaves no stone unturned in getting Iran to stop its nuclear program, diplomatic offensives and sanctions are now being supplemented by cyber-attacks. This was reported earlier on Valuewalk and in an article in the NYT.
Iran’s computers which ran its nuclear program were badly affected by the notorious Stuxnet worm. This worm was developed under the aegis of the Bush Administration, under a framework known in code as Olympic Games. This worm became a part of secret cyber-attacks, allegedly ordered on Iran by President Obama. It is known to have successfully brought down 1,000 of the 5,000 centrifuges run by Iran for processing its uranium.
In May, Russian cyber-security company, Kaspersky Lab, exposed the existence of another virus, dubbed the ‘Flame’ which was 20 times more powerful than the Stuxnet, and which had infected computers most seriously in Iran, though other countries across the Middle East, including Israel and Syria, were also infected. “This is one of the biggest and most sophisticated viruses of our age,” Kaspersky’s chief malware expert, Vitaly Kamlyuk, had said at the time. “It is unique in the way it steals different types of information. It can record audio if a microphone is attached to the infected system. It can do screen captures and transmit visual data. It can also steal information from the input boxes, for example intercepting the keyboard or Bluetooth devices. This is a real cyber weapon that can physically destroy infrastructure.”
Iran was reported to have created its own ‘cyber-force’ for attacking enemies via the internet. Though no evidence exists of any significant activities of this unit, Wednesday’s threat may a warning that Iran could be ready to counter-attack in cyber-space.