Friday, June 28, 2019
Cyber-war Middle East. Covert. Unattributed.
And determined to have been less effective than thought?
Thanks to the latest edition of the DEBKAfile news letter details of an American active cyber-war operation the target Iranian and Iranian proxies military capability. Items copied from the DEBKAfile news letter in entirety.
1. "US covert cyber war on Iran may prompt Russian, Chinese cyber aid for Tehran against America"
"President Donald Trump is reported widely by US media to have embarked on a covert, unattributed cyber-war on Iran in the same way as Tehran never owned up to its recent provocations in the region. This campaign to be conducted by Cyber Command and the CIA, is meant to disable Iran’s means of aggression, namely, missile bases and command centers, IRGC speedboats used to damage half a dozen Gulf oil tankers this month and Iran’s proxies across the region. The CIA’s covert forces will operate inside Iran for striking essential infrastructure and stirring up unrest. The first US cyber-attack on Iran was launched on Thursday, June 20. It targeted the computers of the IRGC missile command center that directed the missile attack on the US drone a few hours earlier, as well as the networks of an Iranian intelligence group held responsible for managing the strikes on the oil tankers. President Trump believes that his hard-hitting sanctions supported by this clandestine, unadmitted cyber campaign will deter Iran without entangling the US in another Middle East war. Among its drawbacks are ignorance of Iran’s cyber capabilities for striking back and the potential for Russia and China to leap to Iran’s aid with their cyber weapons."
ATTACK AT THIS STAGE CONFINED TO MILITARY TARGETS? IRANIAN CIVILIAN INFRASTRUCTURE NOT ENDANGERED?
2. "Failed US cyber strike on rocket control systems in Lebanon stirs war fears in Israel"
The US Cyber Command conducted a cyber-attack on Sunday, June 23, on the Lebanon-based logistical command centers of the Iraqi Shiite Kata’ib Hezbollah militia, one of Tehran’s key proxies. Deferring directly to Al Qods chief Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the Kata’ib’s troops fight for Iran in Iraq and Syria. DEBKAfile reveals that this Iraqi Shiite militia has established a command and control center in Lebanon attached to the Hizballah’s general staff. They are ready for the intake of combat forces from Iraq and Syria if Hizballah goes to war against Israel. The Iraqi militia has been assigned sectors and set up positions along the Lebanese-Israeli border.
"According to some Middle East intelligence sources the American operation failed to achieve its objective, which was to incapacitate the militia’s command and communications rocket system. This was a test for US to aid Israel in the event of a war by using cyber warfare to disable Hizballah and its ally’s ability to unleash a rocket barrage. The failure of this test, or even its partial success, has set alarm bells ringing in Israel that Iran’s pawns will attack this country in reprisal for US sanctions. It would mean that Iran has acquired superior systems for counteracting cyber warfare."
Cyber-war analogous to other weapons of mass destruction? [WMD] The threat of retaliation in kind too strong. An Iranian response can be expected? With bad consequences for American society across the board? We shall see.