Iran ‘Wiper’ Attacks Targeting U.S. Infrastructure, Krebs Warns as U.S. Cyber Strikes IRGC

The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency warned American firms and government agencies to shore up cyber defenses in response to increased cyber threats from Iran.

Director Chris Krebs issued the notice, tweeted on Saturday, after cybersecurity firms CrowdStrike and FireEye reported that over the past few weeks Iran hackers have been spear-phishing the critical infrastructure sector, including oil and gas, and government agencies with emails mimicking official business.

The Associated Press reported Saturday that the U.S. hit Iran’s military computer systems — specifically the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ rocket and missile launchers — in a Thursday cyber attack.

“CISA is aware of a recent rise in malicious cyber activity directed at United States industries and government agencies by Iranian regime actors and proxies. We will continue to work with our intelligence community and cybersecurity partners to monitor Iranian cyber activity, share information, and take steps to keep America and our allies safe,” Krebs said.

“Iranian regime actors and proxies are increasingly using destructive ‘wiper’ attacks, looking to do much more than just steal data and money. These efforts are often enabled through common tactics like spear phishing, password spraying, and credential stuffing,” he added. “What might start as an account compromise, where you think you might just lose data, can quickly become a situation where you’ve lost your whole network.”

Krebs stressed that “in times like these it’s important to make sure you’ve shored up your basic defenses, like using multi-factor authentication, and if you suspect an incident – take it seriously and act quickly.”

Anyone with information or suspecting that their system has been compromised is asked to reach out immediately to NCCICCUSTOMERSERVICE@hq.dhs.gov.

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Bridget Johnson is the Managing Editor for Homeland Security Today. A veteran journalist whose news articles and analyses have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe, Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor and a foreign policy writer at The Hill. Previously she was an editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and syndicated nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. Bridget is a senior fellow specializing in terrorism analysis at the Haym Salomon Center. She is a Senior Risk Analyst for Gate 15, a private investigator and a security consultant. She is an NPR on-air contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, New York Observer, National Review Online, Politico, New York Daily News, The Jerusalem Post, The Hill, Washington Times, RealClearWorld and more, and has myriad television and radio credits including Al-Jazeera and SiriusXM.

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