The tensions between the United States and Iran is fast approaching fever pitch. Ever since the United States presided over the killing of a top Iranian military general last week, there have been widespread concerns that the country could hit the U.S. hard.
US on high alert for Iran-backed cyber attacks https://t.co/71AVk1vEhN
— Financial Times (@FinancialTimes) January 5, 2020
Iran General’s Killing Could Be a Bridge Too Far
The Iranian government vowed to achieve retribution after the Trump administration killed General Qasem Qasem Soleimani, a top-ranked General and head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force. Now, sources are expressing their belief that the government could get this done through coordinated cyber-attacks.
In a note shared with CNN Business, analysts Kirk Materne and Ken Talanina explained that of all the tools at Tehran’s disposal, cyber-attacks have the highest likelihood of being used in its crusade to get a pound of flesh from the United States.
The country has made clear its intention to retaliate. Between Soleimani’s death and today, Iran has officially pulled out of the 2015 nuclear agreement it had with the United States, showing it has no plans to adhere to sanctions placed on its nuclear weapons program.
Just yesterday, the government ordered a red flag to be raised over the Holy Dome Jamkarān Mosque. The event, which is the first in Iran’s history, is a traditional symbol of the declaration of war by the government.
Ramifications Could Exceed Physical Confrontation
Still, many believe that this war, when it does happen, would be fought on the cyberspace.
Cyber-attacks are less traceable and more deadly. Almost everything is linked to a computer and a server, nowadays. Since our lives revolve around computers and servers, if one of these infrastructure experience downtimes, there could be a loss of lives. Iran could cause damage without firing a single bullet.
— BleepingComputer (@BleepinComputer) January 6, 2020
So, while Internet memes and the Trump administration have suggested that what is shaping up to be World War III could be an all-out brawl, there’s every indication that it could just be a cyber conflict with massive ramifications.
It’s also worth noting that Iran is an important part of the Middle East, a region where the United States is heavily invested in, thanks to the abundance of oil. The Dow Jones Industrial Average took a sharp dip following Soleimani’s death, and while it’s yet to recover, there’s optimism that the markets will stabilize over time.
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