3. Alleged U.S. cyber operations against Iran
Axios cybersecurity reporter Joe Uchill notes that there's a big risk associated with the cyberattacks the U.S. is said to have conducted against Iran, in response to attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman and an unmanned U.S. drone.
The big question: Given its history of responding to threats with cyberattacks of its own, how will Tehran respond?
Background: Iran is believed to have launched several cyberattacks against the U.S. financial sector in 2012, just after the U.S. implemented sanctions against Iran — and with the memory still fresh of the Stuxnet malware, likely designed by the U.S. and Israel to disable Iran's nuclear program.
- Since then, Iran has also been suspected of destructive cyberattacks against the state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco and the Las Vegas Sands Corp.
The intrigue: Iran has recently been increasing its cyber espionage efforts against the U.S. But the operations appear (at this point) to be more about gathering intelligence than causing damage. That could change at any time.
Yes, but: While the specter of U.S. cyberattacks against Iran might bring to mind Stuxnet, we don't know what form these attacks took. It could have been something minor — more of a brushback pitch designed to deter, rather than destroy.
Go deeper: Joe has more here.