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Old 29-04-2012, 10:22 AM
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Default Iran ‘mobilizing’ for cyber war with West

Iran ‘mobilizing’ for cyber war with West

By Washington: Arab News | Arab News (SRPC)

Iran is busy acquiring the technical know-how to launch a potentially crippling cyber-attack on the US and its allies, experts have told a congressional hearing, urging the US to step up its defensive measures.

“Over the past three years, the Iranian regime has invested heavily in both defensive and offensive capabilities in cyberspace,” said Ilan Berman, vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council.

“Equally significant, its leaders now increasingly appear to view cyber-warfare as a potential avenue of action against the US,” he told a House Homeland Security subcommittee.

Patrick Meehan, Republican chairman of the committee, also sounded an alarm over the cyber-security threat posed by Iran to Western nations.

“As Iran’s illicit nuclear program continues to inflame tensions between Tehran and the West, I am struck by the emergence of another possible avenue of attack emanating from Iran — the possibility that Iran could conduct a cyber attack against the US homeland,” he said.

The Republican lawmaker said Tehran has reportedly invested over $1 billion in bolstering cyber capabilities, and is believed by some analysts to be the perpetrator of recent attacks on news organizations. “Iran is very publicly testing its cyber capabilities in the region and, in time, will expand its reach,” Meehan warned.

He added that he has concluded after consultations with US partners in the Middle East that “Iran is the most destructive and malicious actor in the region and will persist in antagonizing the United States and our allies — especially the state of Israel.”

Experts on the panel said Iran’s desire to target the United States could be fueled by a desire for payback after the 2010 Stuxnet worm attack which disabled the Iranian centrifuges used to enrich uranium, dealing a major setback to Iran’s nuclear program.

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