11:08 GMT05 March 2021
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    Iran has laid the groundwork for a massive cyberattack on the United States and its allies around the globe, media reported Friday citing US officials.

    The senior officials, who spoke with NBC on condition of anonymity, said the attack was not imminent. The report comes as Washington prepares to re-impose sanctions on Iran after pulling out of the 2015 nuclear pact.

    The news network claimed Iran planned to target public infrastructure and private companies in the United States, Europe and the Middle East for denial-of-service attacks.

    Iran’s spokesman to the UN, Alireza Miryousefi, said on Twitter his country wasn't planning a cyberwar against the United States and accused the US government of using rumors to justify a potential cyberattack on Iran.

    Iranian Civil Defense Organization Brig. Gen. Gholam Reza Jalali said earlier that the United States was planning attacks on Iranian power supply facilities, as well as water resources management systems.

    The New York Times reported in May that US security researchers had detected a "notable" shift in Iranian cyberactivity with Iranian hackers sending emails with malware to diplomats working in the foreign affairs offices of US allies and employees at telecommunications companies in an attempt to infiltrate their computer systems.

    The US-based media outlet said that the security researchers discovered that Iranian hackers had also been probing internet addresses belonging to US military installations in Europe over the last two months.

    In 2016, The New York Times also reported that the United States had a detailed plan for a cyberattack against Iran in the event of diplomatic efforts aimed at reaching the nuclear deal failed. The plan dubbed Nitro Zeus, developed under the previous US Administration headed by former President Barack Obama, implied a cyberattack on Iranian air defense, telecommunication systems as well as key power supply facilities.


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