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Monday, 21 January 2013 10:32

US fears Iranian cyber warriors

Written by Nick Farrell



US Army only wins when the enemy does not fight back


The US military is apparently running scared of the Iranian cyber force, claiming that it is a "force to be reckoned with.”

We are not sure of the logic of this, since since 2010, Iran has hit so many times by US and Israeli cyber-attacks it does not seem to be particularly good at seeing them off. But US General William Shelton who oversees US cyber-operations, claims that the repeated attacks have provoked Iran to improve its cyber-capabilities. This made Iran a growing force in web-based attacks, he claimed.

According to the BBC, Shelton said that the Stuxnet virus attack on Iran's Natanz uranium processing plant had generated a "reaction" by Iran that had led it to rapidly improve its defensive and offensive cyber-capabilities. That improved capability had helped it protect itself against subsequent attacks on oil terminals and other manufacturing plants. He fears that the capability might be turned back on its enemies in coming years.

Iran is going to be a force to be reckoned with and the potential capabilities that they will develop over the years and the potential threat that will represent to the United States, Shelton said. Iran has been bragging about its growing "electronic warfare" capabilities lately, but that has sounded more like the sort of rhetoric which comes out of North Korea rather than anything serious.

However Iran is known to have carried out web-based military exercises at the same time as other troops were on manoeuvres. But it does seem a little odd that a country whose military depends on suicide attacks by lots of motorised patrol boats actually has the US worried. Shelton said that US cyber-forces were about 6,000 strong but would add another 1,000 people in the next year. These workers were successfully fending off the vast majority of the millions of attacks aimed at military networks every day, he added.

Nick Farrell

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