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    US, Iran Engage in Tit-For-Tat Cyber Attacks Amid Escalating Tensions – Reports

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    The two nations are said to have a long history of mutual cyberattacks, with the notorious Stuxnet attack on Iranian nuclear centrifuges being arguably the most famous example.

    Iran and the US engaged in a bilateral cyber-warfare, instead of shooting at each other as the tensions between the two nations escalated last week, US media reports indicated.

    On Saturday, CBS reported that Iran has increased its cyberattack activity targeting US government agencies, oil and gas industry and other sectors of its economy, citing two California-based cybersecurity said, according to CBS Saturday report.

    According to the two companies, CrowdStrike and FireEye, Iran launched waves of phishing emails at targets in the US in recent weeks. It is undisclosed whether any of the attacks yielded any results.

    The US has also reportedly launched a cyberattack against Iran Saturday, as a retaliatory measure for the downed US drone which Tehran claims violated Iran airspace. US President Donald Trump made a decision to postpone a proposed military strike on Iranian facilities, while Friday reports indicated the US Cyber Command initiated a large-scale cyberattack on an undisclosed Iranian cyber intelligence group.

    “I never called the strike against Iran “BACK,” as people are incorrectly reporting, I just stopped it from going forward at this time!” Trump tweeted Saturday.

    ​The Washington Post reported Saturday, citing undisclosed sources, that Trump authorized a cyberattack against Iranian military command and control systems used to launch the missile that took down the drone.

    The report says the cyber operation “crippled” Iranian military command without loss of life. It is said to be the first offensive cyber operation conducted by the Cyber Command after the president granted it new powers earlier in May. Official Tehran has not yet commented on the alleged attack.

    According to CBS, the US and Iran have a long history of cyber-standoffs. In 2010, Iran was hit by the Stuxnet virus, which disrupted Iranian uranium enrichment centrifuges. The virus is widely believed to be a US/Israeli cyberweapon. The cyber experts cited by CBS say Iranian cyberattacks on US receded after President Barack Obama signed the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. After Trump unilaterally withdrew from the deal, Tehran ramped up its attacks again, the report says.

    Trump’s “maximum pressure” policy, adopted after abandoning the Iran nuclear deal in 2018, led to a gradual increase of tensions between the two countries, with the US bringing troops and warships to the Persian Gulf region.

    Tehran has repeatedly stated that it does not want to go to war with any nation, but will protect itself if attacked. Tensions accelerated earlier this week after Iran downed a US Global Hawk spy drone with an anti-aircraft missile.

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