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June 23, 2019

Huge New Iranian Cyber Threat to U.S. Companies

Russia has been responsible for probing and hacking U.S. industrial control systems and recently, the U.S. attacked Russia’s systems in retaliation.

We have long-since warned companies they are on the front lines of a war with nation states such as Iran, Russia, China and North Korea. Countries have tremendous resources and are able to more easily find weaknesses in unprotected systems.

The U.S. has warned businesses about attacks from Iran in the past and as recently as yesterday. In fact, the country has indicted numerous Iranians for hacking financial institutions as well as a dam in Rye, New York.

This attack was the first documented case of a hack by a foreign concern which could have taken a life.

Thankfully, due to the time of year when the hack took place, no one was injured or worse.

After the recent unprovoked missile attack by Iran on a U.S. Navy drone, President Trump decided not to attack in a physical manner with the associated loss of life but instead launched a cyberattack on Teheran targeted at the groups which launched the missile and recent tanker attacks.

Last August, Trump last year signed a classified order known as National Security Presidential Memorandum 13, which officials say authorized Cyber Command to take action abroad without specific presidential approval. The new approach was empowered by language Congress inserted last year in a defense bill, which provided new authorities for offensive military cyber operations.

The general in charge of the push, Paul Nakasone, has spoken about the new policy in cryptic terms such as "persistent engagement," and "defending forward," without explaining what that means. Multiple current and former American officials briefed on the matter say military hackers are breaking into foreign networks, striking at enemy hackers and planting cyber bombs that would disable infrastructure in the event of a conflict.

The idea is to stop other nations from hacking United States computer systems. It is unknown whether this strategy will be successful.

The news about whether this middle east country would retaliate or not, is not good. Iran is retaliating with a cyberattack on U.S. assets in a campaign called “refined kitten.”

“This is not a remote war (anymore),” said Sergio Caltagirone, vice president of threat intelligence at Dragos, Inc. “This is one where Iranians could quote unquote bring the war home to the United States.”

DHS CISA has just warned businesses of Iranian hackers' favorite techniques: password spraying, credential stuffing, spear-phishing.

This is a huge new threat.

Western businesses are likely at increased risk but are often unaware.

During the cold war, everyone knew the threat of nuclear annihilation due to as frequent “duck and cover” drills in schools.

There needs to be a daily drill like this for business leaders as they often think they could never be a target. They don’t know that each day three-billion fake emails are sent.

Sure, some hacks are very targeted but these spray and pray attacks cost little to nothing to carry out and are highly successful.

We have put together two documents which are required reading for government and corporations.

We hope you find them valuable.

How to protect the 2020 election from hacking.

Cybersecurity essentials for every business

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