On Security

Hacking: Another Weapon in the Asymmetrical Arsenal

Scott Stewart
VP of Tactical Analysis, Stratfor
Jan 25, 2018 | 08:00 GMT
Hacking is far more affordable than traditional warfare.

Along with the conventional weapons it sells to Iran and Syria, Russia may one day supply them with cyber tools and training.

(DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images)

Iran's Islamic Revolution could play out, in part, online. On Jan. 4, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace published a report describing the country as a "third-tier cyberthreat." The report's authors note that despite Iran's success with cyberattacks such as Shamoon and a spear-phishing campaign that hit Deloitte and several other companies, Iranian attacks generally feature poor tradecraft. As a result, investigators haven't had much trouble tracking cyber operations back to the Islamic republic, whether because the attack code contained Farsi terms or because its associated IP address traced to Iran. Iranian spear-phishing attacks, likewise, frequently suffer from their perpetrators' poor command of the English language. But even if its capabilities pale in comparison with those of Russia or China, Iran is still a cyberthreat, albeit a third-tier one. The Carnegie Endowment's report about the country's adoption and use of an asymmetrical weapon such as hacking called to mind the way...

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