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U.S. hit back at Iran with cyberattacks on weapons systems: Reports

U.S. military cyber forces launched retaliatory online attacks this week on Iranian computer systems that control Iran’s rocket and missile launchers, the New York Times and AP report.

Details: President Trump authorized the cyberattack as he stopped a military response to Iran shooting downing a U.S. surveillance drone, according to AP and the Washington Post. Thursday's operation targeted Iran's Revolutionary Guard, which U.S. officials hold responsible for attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman this month, per AP.

The big picture: The breach, first reported by Yahoo News, saw the U.S. disable the computer systems for some time, according to the outlets. It was similar to a cyberattack that temporarily took down Russia’s Internet Research Agency in November during and immediately after the United States’ midterm elections, the NYT said.

Why it matters: The reports come amid a backdrop of escalating tension between the U.S. and Iran.

  • The Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency issued a warning earlier on Saturday about a rise in malicious cyber activity directed at U.S. industries and government agencies by Iranian regime actors and proxies.

Go deeper: How Trump and Tehran came to the brink of war

This article has been updated with more details, including the president reportedly authorizing the cyberattack.