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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Given last week's flurry of U.S. cyberattacks against Tehran, Iran's history of retaliating with cyberattacks might raise a few eyebrows. But more concerning might be Iran's history of learning new strategies from other nations' cyberattacks.
The big picture: In 2009, Iran became the first known target of cyber warfare. Its history with cyber conflict is long, and could be used to inform how the current moment might play out.
Background: Iran shows an uncommon ability to learn from other nations' techniques and targeting, said Silas Cutler, reverse engineering lead at Chronicle. That's evidenced in how it adapted to Stuxnet, 2009 malware likely launched by the U.S. and Israel to disable the Iranian nuclear program.
In fact, Stuxnet caused a fundamental change in how hackers operate in Iran.
Where it stands: More recently, said Adam Meyers of Crowdstrike, Iran has learned from Russia's operations against Ukraine in its current operations against Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
The intrigue: Unlike North Korea, which has mainly used disruptive cyberattacks to settle petty scores and generate revenue, Iran's disruptive cyberattacks have been more tactical, said Ben Read, senior manager for cyber-espionage analysis at FireEye.
What's next: Iran largely stopped targeting the West after the Iran deal, but activity has re-emerged against the U.S. as tensions have escalated. That activity appears to be more for information gathering than to cause harm.
After a report accused Chinese hackers known as APT 10 or Cloudhopper of breaching 10 global cell phone providers, the Chinese embassy responded by calling out U.S. cyber operations.
The big picture: The firm Cybereason, which first noticed the campaign it says it is highly confident is Chinese espionage, said China's aim was to compile call data on dissidents, military officials, spies and law enforcement agents across international borders.
China denies the allegations. But they did so in an unusual way, taking aim at specific U.S. espionage programs.
What they're saying: "I'm sure those who have long been following cybersecurity issues must still remember the PRISM program and have heard of the Equation Group," said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang at a Tuesday press conference, referencing a U.S. bulk surveillance program outlined in the Snowden documents and a vaunted espionage group believed to be part of the NSA. "They may also have known that certain country has been wantonly waging 'cyber war' against other countries."
To be clear: All countries spy, many, if not most countries use hacking as part of their spying, and spying with the intent of informing government decisions is generally considered more of a jaywalking infraction than felony on the global stage.
In 2017, Hackers entered Equifax using a vulnerability in the open source Apache Struts library. And, despite that being one of the largest and best publicized breaches in history, downloads of the vulnerable, unpatched Struts library increased.
Why it matters: The data, compiled in Sonatype's new State of the Software Supply Chain report, is emblematic of a bigger problem in open source software: People often chose out of date code long after security problems are discovered.
By the numbers: When the vulnerability in Struts was announced in March of 2017, the vulnerable code was downloaded 1.78 million times that month despite a patched version being available.
A gallery showing of President Trump's tweets sponsored by The Daily Show. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Renyolds/AFP via Getty Images
China will require an end to U.S. war on Huawei in trade talks: President Trump has, in the past, implied that all Huawei options can be negotiated, much to the chagrin of national security experts who feel trade and security should be kept in separate buckets. (Wall Street Journal)
Trump to throw a "social media summit": Trump will hold a "social media summit" on July 11, accusing major platforms of "trying to rig the election" on the Fox Business Channel. (Wall Street Journal)
Ransomware attacks net $1.1 million in Florida cities: Over the course of about a week, Riviera Beach and Lake City, Florida each paid ransomware swindlers hundreds of thousands of dollars to recover encrypted files. (WUSF)
Facebook's failed to quash a data breach lawsuit. (Cyberscoop)
Codebook will return next week.