Washington: Iran is most probably behind a series of disruptive cyberattacks against major US banks and other companies in apparent retaliation against Western economic sanctions aimed at halting its nuclear programme, US intelligence and other officials have said.
Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Joseph I. Lieberman said that assaults this week on the websites of JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America probably were carried out by Iran.
“I don’t believe these were just hackers who were skilled enough to cause disruption of the Web sites. I think this was done by Iran and the Quds Force, which has its own developing cyberattack capability,” the Washington Post quoted Lieberman, as saying.
The Quds Force is a special unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, a branch of the military, the paper said.
Lieberman said that he believed that the efforts were in response to “the increasingly strong economic sanctions that the United States and our European allies have put on Iranian financial institutions.”
Experts claim that unlike the cyberattacks attributed to the United States and Israel that disabled Iranian nuclear enrichment equipment, the Iranian attacks were intended to disrupt commercial Web sites. Online operations at Bank of America and Chase both experienced delays this week, the paper said.
The US intelligence community is increasingly concerned about Iran’s improving capability to mount attacks. A top intelligence official told the US Congress earlier February that “Iran’s intelligence operations against the United States, including cyber capabilities, have dramatically increased in recent years in depth and complexity, it added.
First Published: Saturday, September 22, 2012, 18:31