Iran's cyberwarfare capabilities are modest but steadily improving
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Iran’s cyberwarfare capabilities do not yet seem to rival those of Russia in skill, or of China in scale. The community of high-end hackers in Iran remains relatively small and constrained to some extent by infrastructural limitations resulting from sanctions— and the sheer difficulty of building a robust network in Iran’s physical and political terrain. We have not seen evidence that Iran is capable of penetrating US national security or critical infrastructure systems outfitted with modern, best-practices cyberdefense systems.
The Iranian cyberthreat is not yet unmanageable, but it is growing rapidly. The US must rapidly develop and implement laws, sanctions, systems, and proce- dures to defend against this threat, lest we be surprised some day by a preventable cyber calamity.
Iran has been developing cyber warfare capabilities for years and accelerated these efforts following the Stuxnet attack that set back their nuclear weapons program. Several large-scale hacking incidents against Western targets show that Iran is also becoming more adept and confident in conducting offensive cyber attacks to further its revolutionary aims.