B1 Intermediate US 40 Folder Collection
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- The United States' economy is the most sophisticated
and technology-reliant on Earth probably
and that makes us very vulnerable
to adversaries who are seeking to disrupt us.
- [Cardinale] Adversaries like China,
North Korea, Russia, and, of course, Iran.
As the Iran Nuclear Agreement quickly unravels,
security experts say they've seen an uptick
in Iranian cyber attacks
specifically targeting the United States.
And the questions that experts are asking are
what new tactics do hackers have up their sleeves?
Will they use more ransomware to hold data hostage
or cyber-spying and espionage to access secret information?
And, more importantly,
is the U.S. actually prepared to defend itself?
Because the more technologically-reliant
the United States becomes,
the more vulnerable it is to disruption.
Just look at the top two industries
that experts say suffer the most significant cyber attacks.
It's finance and high tech.
- What's so interesting about cyber
is it's a very accessible capability
and we're seeing Iran is one of those countries
that is actually using third parties in-country,
probably contractors, to develop their own capabilities.
And they've been doing that really since Stuxnet incident,
when they decided to really ramp up their program.
- [Cardinale] Stuxnet, the most sophisticated
infrastructure hack to date
and the most aggressive attack
attributed to the U.S. and Israel
against Iran's Natanz Uraniaum Enrichment Facility.
Stuxnet damaged some 1,000 centrifuges,
infected 30,000 computers,
and brought the entire operation to a grinding halt.
- There's this been fear that more and more actors
will be able to do something similar,
which is move in through this cyber realm
and cause a kind of physical consequence.
- [Cardinale] When Iran downed a U.S. drone
near the Strait of Hormuz in 2019,
the U.S. launched a cyber attack
that wiped an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps database.
Without that data, Iran lost a major asset
that would help in their attacks on tankers
in the Persian Gulf.
According to experts, Iran has used cyber attacks
as an economic weapon in response to economic sanctions,
simply because the U.S. isn't likely
to try and defend itself through physical retribution.
- Point that our nation needs a comprehensive strategy
to deal with all areas, all areas, of Iran's aggression.
- Iran has absolutely been disruptive in the past
targeting American interests.
They engaged in relatively low-sophisticated attacks
several years ago,
targeting financial institutions with DDoS attacks,
essentially spam traffic being sent to their websites
in a way that intermittently took those sites down
so consumers in the U.S. were not able
to access their bank accounts.
Even a few minutes of those websites being down
or those services being inaccessible
can really impact the, not just national,
but global economy.
- [Cardinale] Ironically, one of the best defenses
to these sophisticated hacks is to have an analog backup
in case something goes haywire,
like having paper ballots that can be counted
to give people assurances
that their democracy is based off of real results.
- The most important thing that businesses can do
and individuals can do is make sure
that their security posture is as upgraded as possible.
This is the simple, routine, and boring art
of updating your iPhone,
updating your Windows operating system.
- [Cardinale] Wall Street Journal reporting found
that without regular cyber maintenance,
the U.S. is essentially a sitting duck
to unique attacks from hostile groups.
In 2016, a destructive virus called Shamoon 2
was reportedly executed by the Iranians.
It hit several organizations, mostly in Saudi Arabia.
That included Sadara, a joint venture between Dow Chemical
and Saudi Arabian oil.
According to experts,
Shamoon 2 wiped enormous amounts of data
and even prevented computers from turning back on.
That was evidence that the Iranians
could not only execute sophisticated attacks,
but were also willing to invest in custom attacks.
And what's more custom and nearly impossible to fight
than a propaganda attack?
According to Citizen Lab,
the Iranian information operation Endless Mayfly
created deceptive imitations of publications,
like Bloomberg and the Harvard Belfer Center,
as well as entirely fake personas.
The challenge here is it's almost impossible
for the U.S. to defend against these new
and increasingly popular attacks.
For now, the government's best bet
may be to work with social media publications
to try and take down what's recognized as propaganda
and hope that it's caused simply minimal damage.
- A term you'll hear a lot of experts use
when they're talking about cyber attacks
is asymmetrical warfare and this is the concept
that countries that lack traditional military might
make up for it through use of technology
and through the use of cyber attacks,
and Iran is certainly in that camp.
For Iran, this is the great equalizer.
This is their way of sending a message loud and clear
that we are here and we are upset with these sanctions,
we are upset with the U.S. foreign policy,
and we're going to make you hurt for it.
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Why the U.S. Is Vulnerable to an Iranian Cyberattack | WSJ

40 Folder Collection
abc3455 published on February 13, 2020
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