Iran has countered threat of U.S. cyberattacks by setting up separate internet
Nonkinetic cyberattacks cooperatively developed, financed and launched by the U.S. and Israel did delay the Iranian nuclear program for five or more years, says the U.S. defense specialist, but the eventual outing of the “Stuxnet” cyberattack and “Flame” cyber-reconnaissance programs allowed Iran to start organizing its cyberdefenses.
To defend against cyberattacks, the Iranian government has begun installing a network that is separate from the Internet to better control information flow, according to a report by the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Global Communications Studies. Critical government and military agencies are expected to be on the network by the end of the month, according to the Washington Post. Project researchers say they already have evidence of a filtering capability. The technology is provided by China's Huawei corporation, the investigation finds.
“But it's a fencing match [that is standard in the world of electronic warfare],” the U.S. specialist says. “Now that they know our secret sauce [with discovery of the Stuxnet and Flame cyberintrusions], they've made it much harder to do.”
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.