US Cyber Strike On Iran Is A Step Change

After the US launched a cyber-attack on Iran’s weapons systems last month, military warfare could increasingly look like a loss of connectivity, rather than a loss of life, according to a cyber-security expert.

The attack on Iran’s security systems, used to control its rocket and missile launches, was a “game changing” event for both the cyber-security industry and “how we think about geopolitics,” Haiyan Song, the Senior Vice President of IT / Security firm Splunk. “A military action got diverted to really becoming a cyber action,” said Song being interviewed by CNBC.

US President Trump reportedly approved the cyber-attack against the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps on June 22, days after Tehran shot down a surveillance drone. 

Days before the cyber-attack, Trump had called off a conventional military assault against Iran, saying that the expected loss of life, estimated to be about 150 people, would have been disproportionate to the downing of the unmanned drone.
The attack marked the latest chapter in the US and Iran’s on-going cyber operations against each other. Tensions have been escalating between Washington and Tehran, after the US unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran last year and began a policy of “maximum pressure” campaign aimed at ending its nuclear ambitions.

Asked if she anticipated a ramping up of such cyberattacks as a means of warfare, Song, senior vice president and general manager of security markets at the multinational software company, was unequivocal.

“The short answer is absolutely,” Song said at the World Economic Forum in Dalian, China. “I think this is really a new way for a lot of countries and nation states to really think about their competitiveness in the military world.”

Such forms of cyber-attacks are also growing in the business world, Song noted, highlighting phishing attacks and the infiltration of cloud technology as two particular areas of disruption.

She added that as inter-connectivity increases, “the vengeance, the frequency and the speed and the coverage” of such attacks will only grow.

CNBC:

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