Cyber experts express concern about possibility of Iran retaliating against US with cyberattack

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– Cyber experts are concerned about the possibility of Iran attacking the United States through the World Wide Web.

Homeland Security says Iran has a robust cyber program and can execute cyber-attacks against America.

Tensions have continue to rise between Iran and the United States after a U.S. airstrike killed Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani.

"The core of this is over the past 2 decades. Iran has been developing a nuclear program, and Iran has also been expanding its footprint politically and strategically throughout the Middle East," IU professor Jamsheed Choksy said.

Iran retaliated by firing missiles at two Iraqi military bases that housed U.S. troops.

"The Iranians have claimed, of course, that this is a great victory, and so hopefully they will play that propaganda to their supporters; the regime supporters in Iran and let it go at this point," Choksy said.

Now the concern is a cyber threat.

"Iranians however do have a very highly developed cyber-attack program largely targeting the U.S. government and U.S. corporations not U.S. individuals," Choksy said.

"There are about 10 different active groups that are colonies associated with Iran and those include groups like APT 34 and others," Sophos Director of Manged Threat Response J.J. Thompson said.

Thompson says the teams appear to act in patterns.

"4 out of 10 of those groups like to use certain type of techniques like spearfishing; not just with attachments but spearfishing with links," Thompson said.

Iran hasn’t announced a new cyber threat, but Thompson says the attack can happen anytime.

He says most hackers attack government organizations, but they can go after individuals.

"Information from individuals can be utilize to compromise the businesses or organizations that may be the primary target," Thompson said.

He says everyone should protect their data.

"It’s important to make sure you not only have endpoint detection, response tools, next generation firewalls, and Utms in place. You also actively monitor them and you’re in a position where you can respond actively," Thompson said.

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