Iran: Causing Problems on U.S. Soil by Tripling Their Efforts to Take Us Down
Hackers from Iran have grown in their efforts to breach United States computer networks after the death and funeral of General Qasem Solemani. According to state government officials and internet security researchers, Iran hackers have had little to no success in their efforts. However, they are saying the efforts have tripled since the recent events between America and Iran have taken place. Iran claims they are standing down from any more attacks, but they never said what kind of attacks. The two main reasons they are attempting these hacks is to try and figure out what America’s plans are in dealing with Iran. The other purpose is to try and shut our country down to make us vulnerable.
Federal, state, and local governments have all reported the hacks have increased by 50 percent and are continuing to accelerate. Within 48 hours, the national security company known as Cloudflare traced all of the attacks back to Iranian IP addresses. But the hacks do not stop with America. These hacks have expanded all across the world. Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince stated there are almost half a billion hacking attempts each day.
Prince said, “The increase is statistically significant, and the true number of attempts was likely higher, given that the company has a limited view of the wider internet.” He added, “That would be very atypical to happen on its own. That, I think, you can safely correlate directly to the death of the Iranian general.”
In explaining the hacking on other countries, Prince stated, “That could indicate sophisticated Iranian attackers masking their locations, or it could suggest that non-Iranian hackers are taking advantage of a chaotic situation.”
A spokesperson from Cloudflare said, “Some of the increase in activity reflects a so-called denial of service attacks, efforts to shut down a site by overwhelming it with bogus traffic. But much of the spike came in the form of network probes, or hackers sniffing a target to assess its vulnerabilities.”
Officials in Texas said earlier in the week, there are over 10,000 scans every minute. Amanda Crawford, the executive director of the Texas Department of Information Resources, said, “We absolutely saw an increase in activity that needed to be blocked from Iran.”
At a different level, some government websites did not get away unscathed. An Alabama veteran’s group and the Texas Department of Agriculture were hacked, and the background of their sites was removed and replaced with the face of Soleimani. There was a caption that came along with the face of the fallen general, which read, “Hacked by Iranian hacker.”
General Solemani was killed last Thursday night into Friday morning and over the weekend followed a successful hacking attempt. The website of the Government Publishing Office had the background removed and was replaced with President Trump in the background. The image was gruesome and showed him being bloodied up after being punched in the face.
Maddison Jaureguito, a spokesperson for the Texas Agriculture Department, stated, “Authorities are investigating the case, and Cybersecurity experts described the defacements as the work of amateurs.”
James Lewis, a senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank, said, “Cheesy, low budget images are a hallmark of Iranian propaganda. Probably ‘patriotic hackers’ going after the only vulnerable .gov site they could find. Definitely not the A-team.”
The U.S. officials have spread the word to businesses everywhere, along with infrastructure operators to remain on high alert because with the tensions flaring, we are not out of the woods yet. The Department of Homeland Security also sent out warnings across the board, and there has been a bulletin through a terror advisory system, which is warning of the Iran cyberattacks. Congress was included in the briefing on the potential vulnerabilities from the Iran cyberattacks and their capabilities on American targets.
One of the biggest concerns, which has taken over the better part of the ending of 2018 was the ransomware attacks. Connecticut Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal told reporters he was briefed on the classified information, and he said, “I the meeting with strong concerns about ransomware, malicious software that takes computers hostage and prevents legitimate users from unlocking them.
Experts are saying Iran has continued to improve their capabilities in the cyberspace world. They are saying Iran is known as a second-tier digital threat underneath the larger countries of China and Russia. It is to be noted and understood, Iran is still a dangerous threat and can cause extensive damage.