U.S. cyberattacks against Iranian missile control systems failed, Iranian’s state-run media reported Monday.
“They try hard, but they have yet to carry out a successful attack,” Iranian Minister of Information and Communications Technology Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi tweeted Monday. “We have been facing cyberterrorism for a long time … Last year we neutralized 33 million attacks with the [national] firewall.”
The United States launched cyberattacks targeting Iranian missiles and rockets after the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps shot down a U.S. Navy RQ-4A Global Hawk drone last week, Iran media reported. Tehran claims the drone entered Iran airspace while U.S. officials said it was shot down over international waters.
Citing two former intelligence officials, Yahoo News reported Friday that U.S. Cyber Command launched retaliatory digital strikes against Iran. But they said the target was an Iranian spy group that tracks ships through the Strait of Hormuz and the attack was done in retaliation for the oil tanker ambushes earlier in the month.
President Donald Trump said Friday he had ordered military strikes against three targets in Iran late Thursday after the drone was shot down but he canceled them at the last minute over concerns for civilian safety. He didn’t believe shooting down an unmanned drone equated to killing up to 150 civilians.
The New York Times, citing sources familiar with the operation, reported that the cyberattack focused on the group that planned the oil tanker attacks while also going after the Iranian missile systems. It was meant to take the systems offline for a time.
Trump approved the cyberattack on Iran, CBS News reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.
Tensions continue to escalate between Iran and the United States while Britain, France and other European countries called for restraint and dialogue.
Christopher C. Krebs, director of the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, warned that Iran is planning similar cyberattacks against U.S. businesses.
“We will continue to work with our intelligence community and cybersecurity partners to monitor Iranian cyberactivity, share information and take steps to keep America and our allies safe,” Krebs said. “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.”
Iran refers to its firewall as the Dejfa defense shield, a defense project for the national information network that provides security services for private and state-owned businesses.